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Preface to Clifton Grove. 

Lines, by Professor Smyth, on 
a Monument erected by Fran- 
cis Boott, Esq. in All Saint's 
Church, Cambridge, to the 
Memory of H. K. White. 

Lines, by Lord Byron. 

To my Lyre ; an Ode. 

Clifton Grove. 

Gondoline ; a Ballad. 

On a Survey of the Heavens, be- 
fore Day-break. 

Lines, spoken by a Lover at the 
Grave of his Mistress. 

My Study. 

To an early Primrose. 

Sonnets, 1. To the Trent. 

— 2. * Give me a Cottage on 
some Cambrian wild.' 

— 3. Supposed to have been 
addressed by a Female Luna- 
tic to a Lady. 

— 4. In the Character of Der- 

— 5. The Winter Traveller. 

— 6. By Capel Lofft, Esq. 

• — 7. Recantatory, in reply. 

— 8. On hearing an iEolian 

— 9. « What art thou, Mighty 

A Ballad. 'Behush'd,behush'd, 
ye bitter winds.' 

The Lullaby of a Female Con- 
vict to ber child. 

ToH. Fuseli, Esq. R.A. 

To the Earl of Carlisle. 

Description of a Summer's Eve. 

To Contemplation. 

To the Genius of Romance ; a 

The Savoyard's Return. 
Lines. ' Go to the raging sea, 

and say, " Be still !" ' 
Written in the Prospect of 

Song. ' Come, Anna, Come.' 

Epigram on R. Bloomfield. 
Ode to Midnight. 

— To Thought. Written at 

Genius; an Ode. 
Fragment. — To the Moon. 

— ' Loud rage the winds with- 

— ' Oh, thou most fatal of Pan- 
dora's train.' 

Sonnets. To Capel Lofft, Esq. 

— To the Moon. 

— Written at the Grave of a 

— To Misfortune. 

— ' As thusoppress'dwithmany 
a heavv care.' 

— To April. 

— ' Ye unseen spirits.' 

— To a Taper. 

— To my Mother. 

— ' Yes, 'twill be over soon.' 
• — To Consumption. 

— " Thy judgments, Lord, are 

To a Friend in Distress, who 
when Henry reasoned with 
him calmly, asked, If he did 
not feel for him ? 

Christmas Day. 

Nelsoni Mors. 

Hymn. 'Awake sweet harp of 
Judah, wake. 

— for Family Worship. 
The Star of Bethlehem 


Hymn. ' Lord, my God, in 
mercy turn.' 

Melody. ' Yes, once mote that 
dying strain/ 

Song, by Waller, with an addi- 
tional Stanza. 

' I am pleased, and yet I'm sad.' 


' If far from me the Fates re- 

' Fanny, upon thy breast I may 
not lie.' 

' Saw'st thou that light?' 

' The pious man in this bad 

' Lo ! on the eastern summit.' 

' There was a little bird upon 
that pile.' 

' O pale art thou, my lamp.' 

' O give me music' 

* Ah ! who can say, however 

fair his view.' 
' And must thou go V 
' When 1 sit musing on the che- 

quer'd past.' 
' When high romance, o'er 

every wood and stream.' 
■ Hush'd is the lyre.' 

* Once more, and yet once 



Fragment of an Eccentric 

To a Friend. 

On the Poems of Warton. 
To the Muse. 
To Love. 

The Wandering Boy. 
Fragment. ' The western gale.' 
Ode, written on Whit-Monday. 
Commencement of a Poem on 

To the Wind ; a Fragment. 
The Eve of Death. 


On Music. 

Ode to the Harvest Moon. 

* Softly, softly blow, ye breezes. 

Shipwreck'd Solitary's Song. 


On being confined to School one 
Morning in Spring; written 
at the Age of Thirteen. 

Extract from an Address to 

To the Rosemary. 

To the Morning. 

My own Character. 

Ode on Disappointment. 

Lines, on Recovery from Sick- 

The Christiad. 

Lines and Note, by Lord Byron. 

— written in the Homer of Mr. 
H. K. White. 

To the Memory of H. K. White. 
Stanzas, at the grave of H. K. 

White, by a Lady. 
Ode on the late H. K. White. 
Verses, by Josiah Conder. 
Sonnet, by Arthur Owen. 

— in Memory of H. K. White. 
Reflections on reading the Life 

of the late H. K. White, by 

William Holloway. 
Lines, on reading the Poem on 

Solitude, by Josiah Conder. 
To the Memory of H. K. White, 

by the Rev. W. B. Collyer. 
On the death of H. K. White, 

by T. Park. 


Remarks on the English Poets. 

— Sternhold and Hopkins. 
Remarks on the English Poets. 

— Warton. 

Cursory Remarks on Tragedy. 
Melancholy Hours, I. to XII. 
Reflections oh Prayer. 



There are few persons whose name is so hailed by 
the young-, and whose character has produced a greater 
effect upon society, than that of He^ry Kirke 

There is a genius of the highest order in his poeti- 
cal productions, and an erudite simplicity in his prose ; 
and both are so recommended by sincerity, and con- 
secrated by piety, that no one can read them without 
being awed by the subject, and improved by the sen- 

What renders the piety and religious sentiments of 
this accomplished youth more conspicuous and re- 
markable, is, that it is well known he was once inclined 
to gaiety, and a victim of infidelity. He was fond of 
the stage, and took a part in private theatricals ; as- 
sociated with a circle of ingenious, but free-thinking 
and free-acting young men : but, to the surprise of his 
former acquaintances, he became perfectly orthodox in 
his principles, and devout in his practice. This gives 
us ground to believe that his opinions are sincere, 
that they were adopted after mature examination : and 
his life proves that his piety was unfeigned ; for he 


acted throughout life according to the new principles 
which he had adopted. 

Henry Kirke White was born at Nottingham, 
March 21 , 1785. This celebrated poet, like many 
other men of genius, was of humble origin. His father 
was a butcher at Nottingham, and he was designed 
by him to carry the basket, loaded with meat, to his 
customers. But Henry's spirit was too aspiring for 
this ignoble employment; and this, united with his 
mother's ambition, procured him a classical education. 
Mr. Blanchard, master of the Classical Academy, 
Nottingham, has been accused of not discerning his 
talents. But in a school consisting of upwards of a 
hundred boys, which we know he then conducted, it 
was perhaps impossible to discover the peculiar genius 
of every pupil. The usual routine of tasks were of 
course required of Henry, and it is very possible that 
the dry grammatical exercises which he had to per- 
form, were not very agreeable to him. 

The earliest instruction has often produced a good 
and salutary impression upon the minds of children, 
which has been felt even to maturer years. This was 
the benefit which Henry derived, at the age of four 
years, from Mrs. Garrington, his school-mistress. 
Henry, in his poem on Childhood, makes mention of 
her prudence and kindness With affectionate veneration. 

There was a teacher at Mr. Blanchard's, who, with 
more spite than penetration, pronounced an ill-natured 
opinion of Henry, as a stupid, obstinate boy; but the 
lampoons which Henry immediately wrote upon him 
and the other teachers, were pointed with such wit and 
humour, that they completely proved the falsehood of 
the calumny. 


The irksome confinement of school, to a boy whose 
x taste for the sublime and beautiful led him to meet the 
approach of day, may be easily conceived; and his 
feelings are expressively pictured in his little poem ' On 
being confined to School/ The clear meanderings of 
the majestic Trent, the expansive and flowery meadows 
which form its banks, the hanging groves of Clifton 
which overshadow the stream, and the woods of Cot- 
grave, which crown its abrupt and sloping hills, all 
form scenes where his muse delighted to wander; 
and amidst them, the writer of these pages has often 
met Henry. 

Here, with the meditations of a hermit, he often wan- 
dered at early morn, at sunny noon, or when the even- 
ing shades arose. And I can never retrace those well- 
known scenes without fancying I hear the whisper of 
his friendly spirit : 

Far from the scene of gaiety and noise, 
Far, far from turbulent and empty joys, 
He Med him to the thick o'er-arching shade, 
And there on mossy carpet listless laid. 

Henry was only six years old when he first was sent 
to Mr. Blanchard's Academy, Nottingham. Here he 
was instructed in the rudiments of writing, arithmetic, 
and French. He remained in this classical establish- 
ment till he was eleven years old ; at which age, it is 
said, he wrote a theme for every boy in his class, con- 
sisting of fourteen. The master commended every one 
of them, but upon Henry's he bestowed a very high en- 

Some dispute with Mr. Blanchard, or a mother's 
fondness, or a principle of economy, to save expense, 
removed Henry from this academy, to be a domestic 


pupil of Mr. Shipley, the writing-master of Mrs. 
White's seminary for young ladies. As might be 
expected, under the particular and kind attention of 
this worthy man, Henry's talents developed them- 
selves. It has been often observed, that the best mode 
of study is to let every one pursue the track of know- 
ledge which his own genius prefers. Henry, now left 
to the uninterrupted pursuit of his favourite subjects 
at his own hours, soon found sufficient employment 
for all his time in reading works on almost every sub- 
ject, and exercising his talents on topics which his 
fancy preferred. Mr. Shipley could not but soon ap- 
preciate the superior abilities of a youth of such appli- 
cation ; and by every attention, assisted his progress 
in the Latin language. Having arrived at the age of 
fourteen, Henry was put to the stocking-loom, for the 
purpose of learning the nature of the hosiery business, 
the staple trade of the town, for which his friends in- 
tended him. But his mounting spirit found a difficulty 
in lowering itself to this degrading employment. He 
seems to have complained of the degradation in the 
lines commencing, 

• Thee do I own the prompter of my joys/ 
Dissatisfied with an occupation merely manual, and 
desirous of an employment, as he said, ' to occupy his 
brains,' his mother articled him to Messrs. Coldham 
and Enfield, attorneys, and town-clerks of Notting- 
ham. Yet in the midst of the pressing engagements of 
an attorney's office, he contrived to devote a portion of 
his time to the acquisition of considerable knowledge 
in the Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian lan- 
guages; in astronomy and music; and learned to play 
the piano-forte. 


At this early age he was admitted a member of a 
literary society in Nottingham, and distinguished him* 
self one evening at their meeting, by lecturing extem- 
pore a full hour on genius : upon which the members 
unanimously elected him their professor. 

In a letter to his brother Neville, we find an instance 
of Henry's extempore powers in the art of poetry. A 
friend had doubted these powers, upon which Henry 
thus addressed him : 

' Yet ah! thy arrows are too keen, too sure,' &c. 

At the age of fifteen, he gained the prize of a silver 
medal, offered by the editors of the Monthly Preceptor, 
for the best translation of a passage in Horace : and at 
sixteen, they voted him a pair of twelve-inch globes 
for an imaginary Tour from London to Edinburgh. 
These literary distinctions introduced him to Capel 
Lofft, Esq. and Mr. Hill, who encouraged him, in 1802, 
to publish his Clifton Grove, and other poems. 

His advancement at the bar, to which he had aspired, 
seemed prohibited by a natural deafness, which appeared 
immoveable. He now therefore turned his thoughts and 
wishes to the banks of the Cam, and hoped that his 
little work might, by its sale, raise him a sum of money 
to assist him to pass through the University. But these 
hopes were all blasted by the malignant criticisms of 
the Monthly Review. Mr. Southey, with a generous 
hand, staunched the wound made by their barbed ar- 
rows, and encouraged him to venture a second edition, 
and offered his assistance in the publication. 

While Henry was groping his way to knowledge, and 
forming his plans to reach the University, he was in- 
troduced to the Rev. Mr. Dashwood, curate of St. 


Mary's, Nottingham, who much encouraged him, and 
made him some presents. 

About this time, his religious sentiments underwent 
a great revolution. He became a Christian from con- 
viction, and maintained the faith which once he had 

The method which he adopted, of translations and 
re-translations back into the original of Cicero and 
Caesar, proved admirably useful in bringing him in a 
short time into the habit of easy and elegant Latin 
composition, by which he acquired great credit at the 

Henry's hopes of going to Cambridge became now 
very faint, and he entertained the idea of relinquishing 
his studies. But a recommendation of him having 
been drawn up and presented to the Elland Society, 
formed for the assistance of deserving students through 
the University, he was induced to persevere. This 
Society examined him with scrupulous severity, and 
pronounced their high esteem of his abilities; but hesi- 
tated in accepting him, on account of some supposed 
natural defect in his utterance. 

He was, however, introduced to Mr. Robinson of 
Leicester, and, by Mr. Dashwood, to Mr. Simeon of 
Cambridge ; and through these gentlemen, Mr. Wilber- 
force also took him under his patronage. 

Henry therefore now renewed his literary pursuits, 
and after about six months of interrupted application, 
entered, according to his earnest wish, the University 
of Cambridge. Here, by the elegance of his Latin 
compositions, he soon gained honour and reputa- 
tion ; and had the satisfaction, by the end of the year, 
to gain sufficient prizes to enable him to disburthenhis 


mind of the load of gratitude which oppressed it, and 
to decline any farther pecuniary aid from his patrons. 

For the purpose, however, of making himself more 
fit to compete with the candidates for University ho- 
nours, he retired for a year to Winteringham, and put 
himself under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Grainger, the 
curate. Upon returning to Cambridge, Henry was much 
patronized by his tutors, and sat for the University 
prize, but was persuaded to decline the contest. His 
abilities were much talked of in his own circle ; his col- 
lege tempted his ambitious mind with promises of sup- 
port, and with hopes of honours, and offered him a tu- 
tor during the vacation. The ambition of particular 
colleges to reflect honour on their own establishments, 
sometimes excites the members to sacrifices of time and 
health, which lead them to a literary suicide. Henry 
could not resist the tempting offers of his college. He 
read and studied, and took strong medicines: but it had 
been more kindness to have transplanted this overthriv- 
ing plant into a quiet and open soil for a time, than thus 
to have forced it, in the hot-house of proffered honours, 
to grow beyond its strength till it was exhausted. 

Thus patronized and celebrated, and spurred on by 
the desire of approving himself to his friends, and justify- 
ing their hopes and wishes, he felt himself tied down 
to his studies with bands which he could not break, and 
resisted all the importunities of his friends to leave the 
University to visit them. His mother was particularly 
urgent with him to quit his college for the purpose 
of coming to Nottingham, to receive the benefit of his 
native air, and maternal nursing ; but no arguments 
could prevail. He had already been to London, where 
he had spent a week, and he would not absent himself 



again. His mind had been much excited by the various 
novelties of the metropolis, and the literary and religious 
disputes in which he had been involved; so that, instead 
of that calm repose which the state of his health and spi- 
rits required, he had been thrown into a sea of agitation, 
and returned to Cambridge almost in a fever. A cold 
he caught on the road accelerated its advance; and it 
made such rapid progress over his frame, that in a few 
days he was delirious. Messrs. Campbell and Leeson 
sat up with him some nights, and contributed to calm 
his troubled spirit, and allay the fears which depressed 
his mind. What seemed principally to distress him 
was, the inattention he had lately paid to his religious 
concerns, while absorbed in classical pursuits, and car- 
ried forward by literary ambition. The promises of the 
gospel, however, and the readiness of our Almighty 
Father to receive his children who seek him with their 
whole heart through his beloved Son, brought consola- 
tion to his mind, and gave him peace. He expressed 
his hopes and his satisfaction to his friends, and departed 
without a struggle ; so that those who waited his last 
moments, saw his eyes closed, and his hands clasped as 
in devotion, and could scarcely distinguish the last sigh 
which preceded the departure of his spirit to the world 
of light and life immortal. He died the 19th of Octo- 
ber, 1806. 

His early death, in the attainment of celebrity beyond 
his years, should act as a caution to other youths not to 
indulge an ambitious spirit at the expense of health and 
life; but to use moderation, even in the laudable pur- 
suit of language and science, and to believe that per- 
severance, with health, will, in the end, better secure 
the objects which they have in view. 


The fame of Henry was high in his own college : and 
yet scarcely was he heard of out of it till his death, 
when his writings rendered him so celebrated. The 
eulogies of the University of Cambridge and the un- 
equalled extent of his abilities, which his biographers 
have panegyrized, were smiled at as a romantic tale by 
almost all the Cambridge men of his time. 

The chief excellencies of H. K.White were not the 
high honours which his classical or mathematical know- 
ledge acquired him, nor the superiority of his acquisi- 
tions in language and science, but his true piety, his 
persevering labours, and his exalted poetical genius? 
displayed at so early a period of life. His unexpected 
and lamented death also, at the age of twenty-one, 
with the bright prospect of fame and honours glitter- 
ing before him, has given an interest to his character. 
All these circumstances, combined, have drawn forth 
an attention to his writings, and given them an effect 
on the manners and principles of the rising generation ; 
and they have produced more good than his improved 
abilities might have achieved, had he been spared to the 
age of threescore years and ten. 

Henry felt the force of truth, and obeyed her dictates. 
Henry found the cordials of divine truth supporting him 
in his death, and now reaps her glorious reward in that 
world where knowledge opens to his untired eye its 
boundless stores, and satisfies his holy ambition with 
her unfading and eternal honours. May these be the 
high glories to which all students may direct their best 
and their most ardent expectations! 

b 2 


The following attempts in Verse are laid before the 
public with extreme diffidence. The Author is very 
conscious that the juvenile efforts of a youth, who has 
not received the polish of academical discipline, and 
who has been but sparingly blessed with opportunities 
for the prosecution of scholastic pursuits, must neces- 
sarily be defective in the accuracy and finished elegance 
which mark the works of the man who has passed his 
life in the retirement of his study, furnishing his mind 
with images, and at the same time attaining the power 
of disposing those images to the best advantage. 

The unpremeditated effusions of a Boy, from his thir- 
teenth year, employed, not in the acquisition of literary 
information, but in the more active business of life, must 
not be expected to exhibit any considerable portion of 
the correctness of a Virgil, or the vigorous compression 
of a Horace. Men are not, I believe, frequently known 
to bestow much labour on their amusements : and these 
Poems were most of them written merely to beguile a 
leisure hour, or to fill up the languid intervals of studies 
of a severer nature. 

Hag to oiKEWQ epyov aya7raw, ' Every one loves his 
own work,' says the Stagyrite ; but it was no overween- 
ing affection of this kind which induced this publication. 
Had the author relied on his own judgment only, these 
Poems would not, in all probability, ever have seen the 

Perhaps it may be asked of him, what are his motives 
for this publication? He answers — simply these : The 


facilitation, through its means, of those studies which, 
from his earliest infancy, have been the principal ob- 
jects of his ambition ; and the increase of the capacity 
to pursue those inclinations which may one day place 
him in an honourable station in the scale of society. 

The principal Poem in this little collection, ' Clifton 
Grove,' is, he fears, deficient in numbers and harmo- 
nious coherency of parts. It is, however, merely to be 
regarded as a description of a nocturnal ramble in that 
charming retreat, accompanied with such reflections as 
the scene naturally suggested. It was written twelve 
months ago, when the author was in his sixteenth year. 
— The Miscellanies are some of them the productions 
of a very early age. — Of the Odes, that ' To an early 
Primrose/ was written at thirteen — the others are of a 
later date. — The Sonnets are chiefly irregular; they 
have, perhaps, no other claim to that specific denomina- 
tion, than that they consist only of fourteen lines. 

Such are the Poems towards which I entreat the lenity 
of the public. The critic will doubtless find in them 
much to condemn; he may likewise possibly discover 
something to commend. Let him scan my faults with 
an indulgent eye, and in the work of that correction 
which I invite, let him remember he is holding the iron 
mace of Criticism over the flimsy superstructure of a 
youth of seventeen, and, remembering that> may he for- 
bear from crushing, by too much rigour, the painted 
butterfly whose transient colours may otherwise be ca- 
pable of affording a moment's innocent amusement. 

H. K. White. 

b 3 


By William Smyth, Esq. Professor of Modern History, Cambridge ; on 
a monumental tablet, with a medallion by Chantrey, erected in All- 
Saints' church, Cambridge, at the expense of Francis Boott, Esq. of 
Boston, United States. 


BORN MARCH 21st, 1785 ', DIED OCTOBER 10th, 1805. 

Warm with fond hope, and learning's sacred flame, 

To Granta's bowers the youthful Poet came ; 

Unconquer'd powers th' immortal mind display'd, 

But worn with anxious thought the frame decay'd : 

Pale o'er his lamp, and in his cell retired, 

The Martyr Student faded and expired. 

O Genius, Taste, and Piety sincere, 

Too early lost, 'midst duties too severe ! 

Foremost to mourn was generous South ey seen, 

He told the tale, and shew'd what White had been — 

Nor told in vain — far o'er th' Atlantic wave 

A Wanderer came, and sought the Poet's grave ; 

On yon low stone he saw his lonely name, 

And raised this fond memorial to his fame. W. S. 


No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep, 
But living statues there are seen to weep : 
Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb, 
Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom. 



Thou simple Lyre! — Thy music wild 

Has served to charm the weary hour, 
And many a lonely night has 'guiled, 
When even pain has own'd and smiled 
Its fascinating power. 

Yet, oh my Lyre! the busy crowd 

Will little heed thy simple tones : 
Them mightier minstrels harping loud 
Engross, — and thou and I must shroud 
Where dark oblivion 'thrones. 

No hand, thy diapason o'er, 

Well skill'd, I throw with sweep sublime ; 
For me, no academic lore 
Has taught the solemn strain to pour, 

Or build the polish'd rhyme. 

Yet thou to Sylvan themes canst soar ; 

Thou know'st to charm the woodland train 
The rustic swains believe thy power 
Can hush the wild winds when they roar, 

And still the billowy main. 

These honours, Lyre, we yet may keep, 
I, still unknown, may live with thee, 
And gentle zephyr's wing will sweep 
Thy solemn string, where low I sleep, 
Beneath the alder tree. 


This little dirge will please me more 
Than the full requiem's swelling peal; 

I'd rather than that crowds should sigh 

For me, that from some kindred eye 
The trickling tear should steal. 

Yet dear to me the wreath of bay, 

Perhaps from me debarr'd: 
And dear to me the classic zone, 
Which, snatch'd from learning's labour'd throne, 

Adorns the accepted bard. 

And O ! if yet 'twere mine to dwell 

Where Cam or Isis winds along, 
Perchance, inspired with ardour chaste, 
I yet might call the ear of taste 

To listen to my song. 

Oh ! then, my little friend, thy style 

I'd change to happier lays, 
Oh ! then the cloister'd glooms should smile, 
And through the long, the fretted aisle 

Should swell the note of praise. 



Lo ! in the west fast fades the lingering light, 
And day's last vestige takes its silent flight : 
No more is heard the woodman's measured stroke 
Which, with the dawn, from yonder dingle broke ; 
No more, hoarse clamouring o'er the uplifted head, 
The crows assembling, seek their wind-rock'd bed: 


Still'd is the village hum — the woodland sounds 
Have ceased to echo o'er the dewy grounds, 
And general silence reigns, save when below 
The murmuring Trent is scarcely heard to flow; 
And save when, swung by 'nighted rustic late, 
Oft, on its hinge, rebounds the jarring gate ; 
Or when the sheep-bell, in the distant vale, 
Breathes its wild music on the downy gale. 

Now, when the rustic wears the social smile, 
Released from day and its attendant toil, 
And draws his household round their evening fire, 
And tells the oft-told tales that never tire ; 
Or where the town's blue turrets dimly rise, 
And manufacture taints the ambient skies, 
The pale mechanic leaves the labouring loom, 
The air-pent hold, the pestilential room, 
And rushes out, impatient to begin 
The stated course of customary sin ; 
Now, now my solitary way I bend 
Where solemn groves in awful state impend, 
And cliffs, that boldly rise above the plain, 
Bespeak, bless'd Clifton! thy sublime domain. 
Here lonely wandering o'er the sylvan bower, 
I come to pass the meditative hour; 
To bid awhile the strife of passion cease, 
And woo the calms of solitude and peace. 
And oh ! thou sacred power, who rear'st on high 
Thy leafy throne, where waving poplars sigh! 
Genius of woodland shades! whose mild control 
Steals with resistless witchery to the soul, 
Come with thy wonted ardour, and inspire 
My glowing bosom with thy hallowed fire. 
And thou too, Fancy, from thy starry sphere, 
Where to the hymning orbs thou lend'st thine ear. 


Do thou descend, and bless my ravish'd sight, 

Veil'd in soft visions of serene delight. 

At thy command the gale that passes by 

Bears in its whispers mystic harmony. 

Thou wav'st thy wand, and lo ! what forms appear ! 

On the dark cloud what giant shapes career I 

The ghosts of Ossian skim the misty vale, 

And hosts of Sylphids on the moon-beams sail. 

This gloomy alcove darkling to the sight, 
Where meeting trees create eternal night ; 
Save, when from yonder stream the sunny ray, 
Reflected, gives a dubious gleam of day ; 
Recalls, endearing to my alter'd mind, 
Times, when beneath the boxen hedge reclined 
I watch'd the lapwing to her clamorous brood ; 
Or lured the robin to its scatter'd food ; 
Or woke with song the woodland echo wild, 
And at each gay response delighted smiled. 
How oft, when childhood threw its golden ray 
Of gay romance o'er every happy day, 
Here would I run, a visionary boy, 
When the hoarse tempest shook the vaulted sky, 
And, fancy-led, beheld the Almighty's form 
Sternly careering on the eddying storm ; 
And heard, while awe congeal'd my inmost soul, 
His voice terrific in the thunders roll. 
With secret joy I view'd the vivid glare 
Of volleyed lightnings cleave the sullen air ; 
And, as the warring winds around reviled, 
With awful pleasure big, — I heard and smiled. 
Beloved remembrance !— Memory which endears 
This silent spot to my advancing years : 
Here dwells eternal peace, eternal rest, — 
In shades like these to live is to be bless'd. 


While happiness evades the busy crowd, 

In rural coverts loves the maid to shroud. 

And thou too, Inspiration, whose wild flame 

Shoots with electric swiftness through the frame, 

Thou here dost love to sit with up-turn'd eye, 

And listen to the stream that murmurs by, 

The woods that wave, the gray owl's silken flight, 

The mellow music of the listening night. 

Congenial calms, more welcome to my breast 

Than maddening joy in dazzling lustre dress'd, 

To Heaven my prayers, my daily prayers, I raise, 

That ye may bless my unambitious days ; 

Withdrawn, remote, from all the haunts of strife, 

May trace with me the lowly vale of life, 

And when his banner Death shall o'er me wave, 

May keep your peaceful vigils on my grave. 

Now as I rove, where wide the prospect grows, 

A livelier light upon my vision flows ; 

No more above th' embracing branches meet, 

No more the river gurgles at my feet, 

But seen deep down the cliff's impending side, 

Through hanging woods, now gleams its silver tide. 

Dim is my upland path, — across the Green 

Fantastic shadows fling, yet oft between 

The chequer'd glooms, the moon her chaste ray sheds, 

Where knots of blue bells droop their graceful heads, 

And beds of violets blooming 'mid the trees, 

Load with waste fragrance the nocturnal breeze. 

Say, why does Man, while to his opening sight 
Each shrub presents a source of chaste delight, 
And Nature bids for him her treasures flow, 
And gives to him alone his bliss to know, 
Why does he pant for Vice's deadly charms? 
Why clasp the syren Pleasure to his arms ; 


And suck deep draughts of her voluptuous breath, 
Though fraught with ruin, infamy and death? 
Could he who thus to vile enjoyment clings, 
Know what calm joy from purer sources springs ; 
Could he but feel how sweet, how free from strife, 
The harmless pleasures of a harmless life, 
No more his soul would pant for joys impure, 
The deadly chalice would no more allure, 
But the sweet portion he was wont to sip, 
Would turn to poison on his conscious lip. 

Fair Nature ! thee, in all thy varied charms, 
Fain would I clasp for ever in my arms ! 
Thine are the sweets which never, never sate, 
Thine still remain through all the storms of fate. 
Though not for me 'twas Heaven's divine command 
To roll in acres of paternal land, 
Yet still my lot is bless'd, whileT enjoy 
Thine opening beauties with a lover's eye. 

Happy is he, who, though the cup of bliss 
Has ever shunn'd him when he thought to kiss ; 
Who, still in abject poverty or pain, 
Can count with pleasure what small joys remain : 
Though, were his sight convey'd from zone to zone, 
He would not find one spot of ground his own, 
Yet, as he looks around, he cries with glee, 
These bounding prospects all were made for me: 
For me yon waving fields their burden bear, 
For me yon labourer guides the shining share, 
While happy I in idle ease recline, 
And mark the glorious visions as they shine. 
This is the charm, by sages often told, 
Converting all its touches into gold. 
Content can soothe, where'er by fortune placed, 
Can rear a garden in the desert waste. 


How lovely, from this hill's superior height, 
Spreads the wide view before my straining sight ! 
O'er many a varied mile of lengthening ground 
E'en to the blue-ridged hill's remotest bound, 
My ken is borne : while o'er my head serene, 
The silver moon illumes the misty scene ; 
Now shining clear, now darkening in the glade, 
In all the soft varieties of shade. 

Behind me, lo ! the peaceful hamlet lies, 
The drowsy god has seal'd the cotter's eyes. 
No more, where late the social faggot blazed, 
The vacant peal resounds, by little raised; 
But lock'd in silence, o'er Arion's* star 
The slumbering Night rolls on her velvet car: 
The church-bell tolls, deep-sounding down the glade, 
The solemn hour for walking spectres made ; 
The simple plough-boy, wakening with the sound, 
Listens aghast, and turns him startled round, 
Then stops his ears, and strives to close his eyes, 
Lest at the sound some grisly ghost should rise. 
Now ceased the long and monitory toll, 
Returning silence stagnates in the soul ; 
Save when, disturb'd by dreams, with wild affright, 
The deep-mouth'd mastiff bays the troubled night : 
Or where the village ale-house crowns the vale, 
The creaking sign-post whistles to the gale. 
A little onward let me bend my way, 
Where the moss'd seat invites the traveller's stay. 
That spot, oh ! yet it is the very same ; 
That hawthorn gives it shade, and gave it name : 
There yet the primrose opes its earliest bloom, 
There yet the violet sheds its first perfume, 

* The Constellation Delphinus. For authority for this appella- 
tion, vide Ovid's Fasti, B. xi. 113. 


And in the branch that rears above the rest 

The robin unmolested builds its nest. 

'Twas here, when hope, presiding o'er my breast, 

In vivid colours every prospect dress'd : 

'Twas here, reclining, I indulged her dreams, 

And lost the hour in visionary schemes. 

Here, as I press once more the ancient seat, 

Why, bland deceiver ! not renew the cheat 2 

Say, can a few short years this change achieve, 

That thy illusions can no more deceive? 

Time's sombrous tints have every view o'erspread, 

And thou too, gay seducer; art thou fled? 

Though vain thy promise, and thy suit severe, 

Yet thou couldst guile Misfortune of her tear ; 

And oft thy smiles across life's gloomy way 

Could throw a gleam of transitory day. 

How gay, in youth, the flattering future seems ; 

How sweet is manhood in the infant's dreams ! 

The dire mistake too soon is brought to light, 

And all is buried in redoubled night. 

Yet some can rise superior to their pain, 

And in their breasts the charmer Hope retain : 

While others, dead to feeling, can survey, 

Unmoved, their fairest prospects fade away : 

But yet a few there be, — too soon o'ercast ! 

Who shrink unhappy from the adverse blast, 

And woo the first bright gleam, which breaks the 

To gild the silent slumbers of the tomb. [gloom, 

So in these shades the early primrose blows, 

Too soon deceived by suns and melting snows; 

So falls untimely on the desert waste, 

Its blossoms withering in the northern blast. 

Now pass'd whate'er the upland heights display, 
Down the steep cliff I wind my devious way ; 


Oft rousing, as the rustling path I beat, 

The timid hare from its accustom'd seat. 

And oh ! how sweet this walk, o'erhung with wood, 

That winds the margin of the solemn flood ! 

What rural objects steal upon the sight! 

What rising views prolong the calm delight! 

The brooklet branching from the silver Trent, 

The whispering birch by every zephyr bent, 

The woody island, and the naked mead, 

The lowly hut half hid in groves of reed, 

The rural wicket, and the rural stile, 

And, frequent interspersed, the woodman's pile. 

Above, below, where'er I turn my eyes, 

Rocks, waters, woods, in grand succession rise. 

High up the cliff the varied groves ascend, 

And mournful larches o'er the wave impend. 

Around, what sounds, what magic sounds, arise, 

What glimmering scenes salute my ravish'd eyes ! 

Soft sleep the waters on their pebbly bed, 

The woods wave gently o'er my drooping head, 

And, swelling slow, comes wafted on the wind 

Lorn Progne's note from distant copse behind. 

Still every rising sound of calm delight 

Stamps but the fearful silence of the night, 

Save when is heard, between each dreary rest, 

Discordant from her solitary nest, 

The owl, dull- screaming to the wandering moon, 

Now riding, cloud-wrapt, near her highest noon : 

Or when the wild-duck, southering, hither rides, 

And plunges sullen in the sounding tides. 

How oft, in this sequester'd spot, when youth 
Gave to each tale the holy force of truth, 
Have I long linger'd, while the milk-maid sung 
The tragic legend, till the woodland rung! 
c 2 


That tale, so sad J . which, still to memory dear, 

From its sweet source can call the sacred tear, 

And (lull'd to rest stern Reason's harsh control) 

Steal its soft magic to the passive soul. 

These hallow'd shades, — these trees that woo the wind, 

Recal its faintest features to my mind. 

A hundred passing years, with march sublime, 

Have swept beneath the silent wing of time, 

Since, in yon hamlet's solitary shade, 

Reclusely dwelt the far-fam'd Clifton Maid, 

The beauteous Margaret; for her each swain 

Confess'd in private his peculiar pain ; 

In secret sigh'd, a victim to despair, 

Nor dared to hope to win the peerless fair. 

No more the shepherd on the blooming mead 

Attuned to gaiety his artless reed, 

No more entwined the pansied wreath, to deck 

His favourite wether's unpolluted neck ; 

But, listless, by yon babbling stream reclined, 
He mixed his sobbings with the passing wind, 

Bemoan'd his helpless love; or, boldly bent, 
Far from these smiling fields, a rover went, 
O'er distant lands, in search of ease, to roam, 
A self-will'd exile from his native home. 

Yet not to all the maid express'd disdain ; 
Her Bateman loved, nor loved the youth in vain. 
Full oft, low whispering o'er these arching boughs, 
The echoing vault responded to their vows. 
As here, deep hidden from the glare of day, 
Enamour'd, oft they took their secret way. 
Yon bosky dingle, still the rustics name ; 
'Twas there the blushing maid confess'd her flame. 
Down yon green lane they oft were seen to hie, 
When evening slumber'd on the western sky. 


That blasted yew, that mouldering walnut bare, 
Each bears mementos of the fated pair. 

One eve, when Autumn loaded every breeze 
With the fall'n honours of the mourning trees, 
The maiden waited at the aecustom'd bower, 
And waited long beyond the appointed hour, 
Yet Bateman came not ; — o'er the woodland drear, 
Howling portentous, did the winds career ; 
Andbleakand dismal on the leafless woods 
The fitful rains rush'd down in sullen floods ; 
The night was dark ; as, now and then, the gale 
Paused for a moment,— Margaret listen'd, pale ; 
But through the covert to her anxious ear 
No rustling footsteps spoke her lover near. 
Strange fears now fill'd her breast, — she knew not why, 
She sigh'd, and Bateman 's name was in each sigh. 
She hears a noise,— -'tis he, — he comes at last;— 
Alas ! 'twas but the gale which hurried past : 
But now she hears a quickening footstep sound, 
Lightly it comes, and nearer does it bound ; 
'Tis Bateman's self, — he springs into her arms, 
'Tis he that clasps, and chides her vain alarms. 
' Yet why this silence? — I have waited long, 
And the cold storm has yell'd the trees among. 
And now thou'rt here my fears are fled — yet speak, 
Why does the salt tear moisten on thy cheek ? 
Say, what is wrong?' — Now, through a parting cloud, 
The pale moon peer'd from her tempestuous shroud, 
And Bateman's face was seen : — 'twas deadly white, 
And sorrow seem'd to sicken in his sight. 
' Oh, speak, my love !' again the maid conjured, 
'Why is thy heart in sullen woe immured?' 
He rais'd his head, and thrice essay'd to tell, 
Thrice from his lips the unfinish'd accents fell: 
c 3 


When thus at last reluctantly he broke 
His boding silence, and the maid bespoke : 
' Grieve not, my love, but ere the morn advance, 
I on these fields must cast my parting glance ; 
For three long years, by cruel fate's command, 
I go to languish in a foreign land. 
Oh, Margaret! omens dire have met my view, 
Say, when far distant, wilt thou bear me true? 
Should honours tempt thee, and should riches fee, 
Wouldst thou forget thy ardent vows to me, 
And, on the silken couch of wealth reclined, 
Banish thy faithful Bateman from thy mind?' 

' Oh! why,' replies the maid, ' my faith thus prove, 
Canst thou, ah, canst thou then suspect my love? 
Hear me, just God! if from my traitorous heart 
My Bateman's fond remembrance e'er shall part ; 
If, when he hail again his native shore, 
He finds his Margaret true to him no more, 
May fiends of hell, and every power of dread, 
Conjoin'd, then drag me from my perjur'd bed, 
And hurl me headlong down these awful steeps, 
To find deserved death in yonder deeps!'* 

Thus spake the maid, and from her finger drew 
A golden ring, and broke it quick in two ; 
One half she in her lovely bosom hides, 
The other, trembling, to her love confides. 
' This bind the vow,' she said, ' this mystic charm 
No future recantation can disarm ; 
The right vindictive does the fates involve, 
No tears can move it, no regrets dissolve.' 

She ceased. The death-bird gave a dismal cry, 
The river moan'd, the wild gale whistled by, 

* This part of the Trent is commonly called ' The Clifton Deeps.' 


And once again the Lady of the night 
Behind a heavy cloud withdrew her light. 
Trembling she view'd these portents with dismay : 
But gently Bateman kiss'd her fears away: 
Yet still he felt concealed a secret smart, 
Still melancholy bodings fill'd his heart. 

When to the distant land the youth was sped, 
A lonely life the moody maiden led. 
Still would she trace each dear, each well-known walk, 
Still by the moonlight to her love would talk, 
And fancy, as she paced among the trees, 
She heard his whispers in the dying breeze. 
Thus two years glided on in silent grief; 
The third, her bosom own'd the kind relief: 
Absence had cooled her love — the impoverish'd flair, e 
Was dwindling fast, when lo ! the tempter came ; 
He offer'd wealth, and all the joys of life, 
And the weak maid became another's wife ! 

Six guilty months had mark'd the false one's crime, 
When Bateman hail'd once more his native clime ; 
Sure of her constancy, elate he came, 
The lovely partner of his soul to claim : 
Light was his heart, as up the well-known way 
He bent his steps — and all his thoughts were gay. 
Oh ! who can paint his agonizing throes, 
When on his ear the fatal news arose! 
ChuTd with amazement, senseless with the blow, 
He stood a marble monument of woe; 
Till call'd to all the horrors of despair, 
He smote his brow, and tore his horrent hair ; 
Then rush'd impetuous from the dreadful spot, 
And sought those scenes (by memory ne'er forgot), 
Those scenes, the witness of their growing flame, 
And, now, like witnesses of Margaret's shame. 


'Twas night — he sought the river's lonely shore, 
And trac'd again their former wanderings o'er : 
Now on the bank in silent grief he stood, 
And gazed intently on the stealing flood ; 
Death in his mien, and madness in his eye, 
He watch'd the waters as they murmur'd by; 
Bade the base murd'ress triumph o'er his grave — 
Prepar'd to plunge into the whelming wave. 
Yet still he stood irresolutely bent, 
Religion sternly stay'd his rash intent. 
He knelt. Cool play'd upon his cheek the wind, 
And fann'd the fever of his maddening mind : 
The willows wav'd, the stream it sweetly swept, 
The paly moonbeam on its surface slept, 
And all was peace; — he felt the general calm 
O'er his rack'd bosom shed a genial balm : 
When casting far behind his streaming eye, 
He saw the Grove, in fancy saw her lie, 
His Margaret, lull'd in Germain's* arms to rest, 
And all the demon rose within his breast. 
Convulsive now, he clench'd his trembling hand, 
Cast his dark eye once more upon the land, 
Then at one spring he spurn'd the yielding bank, 
And in the calm deceitful current sank. 

Sad, on the solitude of night, the sound, 
As in the stream he plung'd, was heard around : 
Then all was still — the wave was rough no more, 
The river swept as sweetly as before ; 
The willows waved, the moonbeams shone serene, 
And peace returning brooded o'er the scene. 

Now see upon the perjured fair one hang 
Remorse's glooms and never-ceasing pang. 

* Germain is the traditionary name of her husband. 


Full well she knew, repentant now too late, 

She soon must bow beneath the stroke of fate. 

But, for the babe she bore beneath her breast, 

The offended God prolonged her life unbless'd. 

But fast the fleeting moments roll'd away, 

And near, and nearer drew the dreaded day; 

That day, foredoom'd to give her child the light, 

And hurl its mother to the shades of night. 

The hour arrived, and from the wretched wife 

The guiltless baby struggled into life. — 

As night drew on, around her bed a band 

Of friends and kindred kindly took their stand ; 

In holy prayer they pass'd the creeping time, 

Intent to expiate her awful crime. 

Their prayers were fruitless. — As the midnight came, 

A heavy sleep oppress'd each weary frame. 

In vain they strove against the o'erwhelming load, 

Some power unseen their drowsy lids bestrode. 

They slept, till in the blushing eastern sky 

The blooming morning oped her dewy eye; 

Then wakening wide, they sought the ravish'd bed, 

But lo! the hapless Margaret was fled ; 

And never more the weeping train were doom'd 

To view the false one, in the deeps intomb'd. 

The neighbouring rustics told, that in the night 
They heard such screams as froze them with affright ; 
And many an infant, at its mother's breast, 
Started dismay'd, from its unthinking rest. 
And even now, upon the heath forlorn, 
They shew the path down which the fair was borne, 
By the fell demons, to the yawning wave, 
Her own, and murder'd lover's, mutual grave. 

Such is the tale, so sad, to memory dear, 
Which oft in youth has charm'd my listening ear, 


That tale, which bade me find redoubled sweets 
In the drear silence of these dark retreats ; 
And even now, with melancholy power, 
Adds a new pleasure to the lonely hour. 
'Mid all the charms by magic Nature given 
To this wild spot, this sublunary heaven, 
With double joy enthusiast Fancy leans 
On the attendant legend of the scenes. 
This sheds a fairy lustre on the floods, 
And breathes a mellower gloom upon the woods ; 
This, as the distant cat'ract swells around, 
Gives a romantic cadence to the sound ; 
This, and the deepening glen, the alley green, 
The silver stream, with sedgy tufts between, 
The massy rock, the wood-encompass'd leas, 
The broom-clad islands, and the nodding trees, 
The lengthening vista, and the present gloom, 
The verdant pathway breathing waste perfume ; 
These are thy charms, the joys which these impart 
Bind thee, bless'd Clifton ! close around my heart. 
Dear native Grove! where'er my devious track, 
To thee will Memory lead the wanderer back. 
Whether in Arno's polish'd vales I stray, 
Or where I Oswego's swamps' obstruct the day; 
Or wander lone, where, wildering and wide, 
The tumbling torrent laves St. Gothard's side; 
Or by old Tejo's classic margent muse, 
Or stand entranced with Pyrenean views ; 
Still, still to thee, where'er my footsteps roam, 
My heart shall point, and lead the wanderer home. 
When Splendour offers, and when Fame incites, 
I'll pause, and think of all thy dear delights, 
Reject the boon, and, wearied with the change, 
Renounce the wish which first induced to range; 


Turn to these scenes, these well-known scenes once 
Trace once again old Trent's romantic shore, [more, 
And, tired with worlds, and all their busy ways, 
Here waste the little remnant of my days. 
But if the Fates should this last wish deny, 
And doom me on some foreign shore to die ; 
Oh! should it please the world's supernal King 
That weltering waves my funeral dirge shall sing ; 
Or that my corse should, on some desert strand, 
Lie stretch'd beneath the Simoom's blasting hand ; 
Still, though unwept I find a stranger tomb, 
My sprite shall wander through this favourite gloom, 
Ride on the wind that sweeps the leafless grove, 
Sigh on the wood-blast of the dark alcove, 
Sit, a lorn spectre on yon well-known grave, 
And mix its moanings with the desert wave. 



The night it was still, and the moon it shone 

Serenely on the sea, 
And the waves at the foot of the rifted rock 

They murmur'd pleasantly. 

When Gondoline roam'd along the shore, 

A maiden full fair to the sight ; 
Though love had made bleak the rose on her cheek, 

And turn'd it to deadly white. 

Her thoughts they were drear, and the silent tear 

It fill'd her faint blue eye, 
As oft she heard, in Fancy's ear, 

Her Bertrand's dying sigh. 


Her Bertrand was the bravest youth 

Of all our good king's men, 
And he was gone to the Holy Land 

To fight the Saracen. 

And many a month had pass'd away, 

And many a rolling year, 
But nothing the maid from Palestine 

Could of her lover hear. 

Full oft she vainly tried to pierce 

The ocean's misty face ; 
Full oft she thought her lover's bark 

She on the wave could trace. 

And every night she placed a light 
In the high rock's lonely tower, 

To guide her lover to the land, 
Should the murky tempest lower. 

But now despair had seized her breast, 

^And sunken is her eye ; 
* O ! tell me but if Bertrand live, 

And I in peace will die.' 

She wander'd o'er the lonely shore, 

The curlew scream'd above, 
She heard the scream with a sickening heart 

Much boding of her love. 

Yet still she kept her lonely way, 

And this was all her cry, 
4 Oh ! tell me but if Bertrand live, 

And I in peace shall die.' 

And -now she came to a horrible rift, 

All in the rock's hard side, 
A bleak and blasted oak o'erspread 

The cavern yawning wide. 


And pendant from its dismal top 

The deadly nightshade hung ; 
The hemlock and the aconite 

Across the mouth were flung. 

And all within was dark and drear, 

And all without was calm ; 
Yet Gondoline entered, her soul upheld 

By some deep-working charm. 

And as she enter'd the cavern wide, 

The moonbeam gleamed pale, 
And she saw a snake on the craggy rock, 

It clung by its slimy tail. 

Her foot it slipped, and she stood aghast, 

She trod on a bloated toad ; 
Yet, still upheld by the secret charm, 

She kept upon her road. 

And now upon her frozen ear 

Mysterious sounds arose ; 
So, on the mountain's piny top, 

The blustering north wind blows. 

Then furious peals of laughter loud 

Were heard with thundering sound, 
Till they died away in soft decay, 

Low whispering o'er the ground. 

Yet still the maiden onward went, 

The charm yet onward led, 
Though each big glaring ball of sight 

Seemed bursting from her head. 

But now a pale blue light she saw, 

It from a distance came ; 
She followed, till upon her sight 

Burst full a flood of flame. 


She stood appall'd ; yet still the charm 

Upheld her sinking soul; 
Yet each bent knee the other smote, 

And each wild eye did roll. 

And such a sight as she saw there, 

No mortal saw before, 
And such a sight as she saw there, 

No mortal shall see more, 

A burning cauldron stood i' the midst,. 
The flame was fierce and high, 

And all the cave, so wide and long, 
Was plainly seen thereby. 

And round about the cauldron stout 
- Twelve withered witches stood ; 
Their waists were bound with living snakes, 
And their hair was stiff with blood. 

Their hands were gory too ; and red 
And fiercely flamed their eyes ; 

And they were muttering indistinct 
Their hellish mysteries. 

And suddenly they join'd their hands, 

And uttered a joyous cry, 
And round about the cauldron stout 

They danced right merrily. 

And now they stopp'd ; and each prepared 

To tell what she had done, 
Since last the Lady of the night 

Her waning course had run. 

Behind a rock stood Gondoline. 

Thick weeds her face did veil, 
And she lean'd fearful forwarder, 

To hear the dreadful tale. 


The first arose : She said she 'd seen 
Rare sport since the blind cat mew'd ; 

She 'd been to sea in a leaky sieve, 
And a jovial storm had brew'd. 

She call'd around the winged winds, 

And rais'd a devilish rout; 
And she laugh'd so loud, the peals were heard 

Full fifteen leagues about. 

She said there was a little bark 

Upon the roaring wave, 
And there was a woman there who M been 

To see her husband's grave. 

And she had got a child in her arms, 

It was her only child, 
And oft its little infant pranks 

Her heavy heart beguil'd. 

And there was too in that same bark, 

A father and his son; 
The lad was sickly, and the sire 

Was old and woe-begone. 
And when the tempest waxed strong, 

And the bark could no more it 'bide, 
She said it was jovial fun to hear 

How the poor devils cried. 

The mother clasp'd her orphan child 

Unto her breast, and wept; 
And sweetly folded in her arms, 

The careless baby slept. 
And she told how, in the shape 0' the wind, 

As manfully it roar'd, 
She twisted her hand in the infant's hair, 

And threw it overboard. 


And to have seen the mother's pangs, 

'Twas a glorious sight to see ; 
The crew could scarcely hold her down 

From jumping in the sea. 

The hag held a lock of the hair in her hand, 

And it was soft and fair : 
It must have been a lovely child, 

To have had such lovely hair. 

And she said, the father in his arms 

He held his sickly son, 
And his dying throes they fast arose, 

His pains were nearly done. 

And she throttled the youth with her sinewy hands, 

And his face grew deadly blue ; 
And his father he tore his thin gray hair, 

And kiss'd the livid hue. 

And then she told, how she bored a hole 

In the bark, and it fill'd away: 
And 'twas rare to hear how some did swear, 

And some did vow and pray. 

The man and woman they soon were dead, 
The sailors their strength did urge ; 

But the billows that beat were their winding-sheet, 
And the winds sung their funeral dirge. 

She threw the infant's hair i' the fire, 

The red flame flamed high, 
And round about the cauldron stout 

They danced right merrily. 

The second begun : She said she had done 
The task that Queen Hecat' had set her, 

And that the devil, the father of evil, 
Had never accomplish'd a better. 


She said, there was an aged woman, 

And she had a daughter fair, 
Whose evil habits fill'd her heart 

With misery and care. 

The daughter had a paramour, 

A wicked man was he, 
And oft the woman him against 

Did murmur grievously. 

And the hag had work'd the daughter up 

To murder her old mother, 
That then she might seize on all her goods, 

And wanton with her lover. 

And one night as the old woman 

Was sick and ill in bed, 
And pondering sorely on the life 

Her wicked daughter led, 

She heard her footstep on the floor, 

And she raised her pallid head, 
And she saw her daughter, with a knife, 

Approaching to her bed. 

And said, ' My child, I'm very ill, 

I have not long to live; 
Now kiss my cheek, that ere I die 

Thy sins I may forgive.' 

And the murderess bent to kiss her cheek, 
And she lifted the sharp bright knife, 

And the mother saw her fell intent, 
And hard she begg'd for life. 

But prayers would nothing her avail, 

And she scream'd aloud with fear, 
But the house was lone, and the piercing screams 

Could reach no human ear. 
d 3 


And though that she was sick and old, 
She struggled hard, and fought: 

The murderess cut three fingers through 
Ere she could reach her throat. 

And the hag she held the fingers up, 
The skin was mangled sore, 

And they all agreed a nobler deed 
Was never done before. 

And she threw the fingers in the fire, 

The red flame flamed high, 
And round about the cauldron stout 

They danced right merrily. 

The third arose: She said she'd been 

To Holy Palestine : 
And seen more blood in one short day, 

Than they'd all seen in nine. 

Now Gondoline, with fearful steps, 

Drew nearer to the flame, 
For much she dreaded now to hear 

Her hapless lover's name. 

The hag related then the sports 

Of that eventful day, 
When on the well-contested field 

Full fifteen thousand lay. 

She said that she in human gore 

Above the knees did wade, 
And that no tongue could truly tell 

The tricks she there had play'd. 

There was a gallant-featured youth, 

Who like a hero fought ; 
He kiss'd a bracelet on his wrist, 

And every danger sought. 


And in a vassal's garb disguised, 

Unto the knight she sues, 
And tells him she from Britain comes, 

And brings unwelcome news. 

That three days ere she had embark'd, 

His love had given her hand 
Unto a wealthy thane ; — and thought 

Him dead in Holy Land. 

And to have seen how he did writhe 

When this her tale she told, 
It would have made a wizard's blood 

Within his heart run cold. 

Then fierce he spurr'd his warrior steed, 

And sought the battle's bed : 
And soon all mangled o'er with wounds, 

He on the cold turf bled. 

And from his smoking corse she tore 

His head, half clove in two ; 
She ceased, and from beneath her garb 

The bloody trophy drew. 
The eyes were starting from their socks, 

The mouth it ghastly grinn'd, 
And there was a gash across the brow, — 

The scalp was nearly skinn'd. 

'Twas Bertrand's head !! With a terrible scream, 

The maiden gave a spring, 
And from her fearful hiding-place 

She fell into the ring. 

The lights they fled — the cauldron sunk 

Deep thunders shook the dome, 
And hollow peals of laughter came 

Resounding through the gloom. 


Insensible the maiden lay 

Upon the hellish ground, 
And still mysterious sounds were heard 

At intervals around. 

She woke — she half arose, — and, wild, 

She cast a horrid glare, 
The sounds had ceased, the lights had fled, 

And all was stillness there. 

And through an awning in the rock, 

The moon it sweetly shone, 
And shew'd a river in the cave 

Which dismally did moan. 

The stream was black, it sounded deep, 

As it rush'd the rocks between ; 
It offer'd well, for madness fired 

The breast of Gondoline. 

She plunged in, the torrent moan'd 

With its accustom'd sound, 
And hollow peals of laughter loud 

Again rebellow'd round. 

The maid was seen no more. — But oft 

Her ghost is known to glide, 
At midnight's silent, solemn hour, 

Along the ocean's side. 



Ye many twinkling stars, who yet do hold 
Your brilliant places in the sable vault 
Of night's dominions! — Planets, and central orbs 
Of other systems : — big as the burning sun 


Which lights this nether globe, — yet to our- eye 
Small as the glow-worm's lamp ! — To you I raise 
My lowly orisons, while, all bewilder'd, 
My vision strays o'er your ethereal hosts ; 
Too vast, too boundless for our narrow mind, 
Warp'd with low prejudices, to unfold 
And sagely comprehend. Thence higher soaring, 
Through ye I raise my solemn thoughts to Him, 
The mighty Founder of this wondrous maze, 
The great Creator ! Him, who now sublime, 
Wrapt in the solitary amplitude 
Of boundless space, above the rolling spheres 
Sits on his silent throne, and meditates. 

Th' angelic hosts, in their inferior Heaven, 
Hymn to the golden harps his praise sublime, 
Repeating loud, ' The Lord our God is great,' 
In varied harmonies. — The glorious sounds 
Roll o'er the air serene — The iEolian spheres, - 
Harping along their viewless boundaries, 
Catch the full note, and cry, ' The Lord is great,' 
Responding to the Seraphim. — O'er all, 
From orb to orb, to the remotest verge 
Of the created world, the sound is borne, 
Till the whole universe is full of Him. 

Oh! 'tis this heavenly harmony which now 
In fancy strikes upon my listening ear, 
And thrills my inmost soul. It bids me smile 
On the vain world, and all its bustling cares, 
And gives a shadowy glimpse of future bliss. 
Oh ! what is man, when at ambition's height — 
What even are kings, when balanced in the scale 
Of these stupendous worlds ! Almighty God! 
Thou, the dread author of these wondrous works ! 
Say, canst thou cast on me, poor passing worm, 



One look of kind benevolence ? — Thou canst ; 
For thou art full of universal love, 
And in thy boundless goodness wilt impart 
Thy beams as well to me as to the proud, 
The pageant insects of a glittering hour. 

Oh! when reflecting on these truths sublime, 
How insignificant do all the joys, 
The gaudes, and honours of the world appear ! 
How vain ambition ! Why has my wakeful lamp 
Outwatch'd the slow-paced night? — Why on the page, 
The schoolman's labour'd page, have I employ'd 
The hours devoted by the world to rest, 
And needful to recruit exhausted nature ? 
Say, can the voice of narrow Fame repay 
The loss of health ? or can the hope of glory 
Lend a new throb unto my languid heart, 
Cool, even now, my feverish aching brow, 
Relume the fires of this deep-sunken eye, 
Or paint new colours on this pallid cheek? 

Say, foolish one — can that unbodied fame, 
For which thou barterest health and happiness, 
Say, can it soothe the slumbers of the grave, 
Give a new zest to bliss, or chase the pangs 
Of everlasting punishment condign ? 
Alas ! how vain are mortal man's desires ! 
How fruitless his pursuits ! Eternal God ! 
Guide Thou my footsteps in the way of truth, 
And oh ! assist me so to live on earth, 
That I may die in peace, and claim a place 
In thy high dwelling. All but this is folly, 
The vain illusions of deceitful life. 




Mary, the moon is sleeping on thy grave, 

And on the turf thy lover sad is kneeling, 

The big tear in his eye. — Mary, awake, 

From thy dark house arise, and bless his sight 

On the pale moonbeam gliding. Soft and low 

Pour on the silver ear of night thy tale, 

Thy whisper'd tale of comfort and of love, 

To soothe thy Edward's lorn, distracted soul, 

And cheer his breaking heart. — Come, as thou didst, 

When o'er the barren moors the night wind howl'd, 

And the deep thunders shook the ebon throne 

Of the startled night. — O ! then, as lone reclining, 

I listen'd sadly to the dismal storm, 

Thou on the lambent lightnings wild careering 

Didst strike my moody eye ; — dead pale thou wert, 

Yet passing lovely. — Thou didst smile upon me, 

And oh ! thy voice it rose so musical 

Betwixt the hollow pauses of the storm, 

That at the sound the winds forgot to rave, 

And the stern demon of the tempest, charm'd, 

Sunk on his rocking throne to still repose, 

Lock'd in the arms of silence. 

Spirit of her ! 
My only love ! — O ! now again arise, 
And let once more thine aery accents fall 
Soft on my listening ear. The night is calm, 
The gloomy willows wave in sinking cadence 
With the stream that sweeps below. Divinely swelling 
On the still air, the distant waterfall 


Mingles its melody ; — and, high above, 
The pensive empress of the solemn night, 
Fitful, emerging from the rapid clouds, 
Shews her chaste face in the meridian sky. 
No wicked elves upon the Warlock-knoll 
Dare now assemble at their mystic revels ; 
It is a night, when from their primrose beds 
The gentle ghosts of injured innocents 
Are known to rise, and wander on the breeze, 
Or take their stand by th' oppressor's couch, 
And strike grim terror to his guilty soul ; 
The spirit of my love might now awake, 
And hold its custom'd converse. 

Mary, lo ! 
Thy Edward kneels upon thy verdant grave, 
And calls upon thy name. — The breeze that blows 
On his wan cheek will soon sweep over him 
In solemn music, a funereal dirge, 
Wild and most sorrowful. — His cheek is pale; 
The worm that prey'd upon thy youthful bloom 
It canker'd green on his. — Now lost he stands, 
The ghost of what he was, and the cold dew 
Which bathes his aching temples gives sure omen 
Of speedy dissolution. — Mary, soon 
Thy love will lay his pallid cheek to thine, 
And sweetly will he sleep with thee in death. 



You bid me, Ned, describe the place 
Where I, one of the rhyming race, 
Pursue my studies con amore, 
And wanton with the muse in glory. 


Well, figure to your senses straight, 
Upon the house's topmost height, 
A closet, just six feet by four, 
With white-wash'd walls and plaster floor, 
So noble large, 'tis scarcely able 
T' admit a single chair or table : 
And (lest the muse should die with cold) 
A smoky grate my fire to hold : 
So wondrous small, 'twould much it pose 
To melt the ice-drop on one's nose ; 
And yet so big, it covers o'er 
Full half the spacious room and more. 

A window vainly stuff'd about, 
To keep November's breezes out, 
So crazy, that the panes proclaim 
That soon they mean to leave the frame. 

My furniture I sure may crack — 
A broken chair without a back ; 
A table wanting just two legs, 
One end sustain'd by wooden pegs; 
A desk — of that I am not fervent, 
The work of, Sir, your humble servant ; 
(Who, though I say't, am no such fumbler;) 
•A glass decanter and a tumbler, 
From which my night-parch'd throat I lave, 
Luxurious with the limpid wave. 
A chest of drawers, in antique sections, 
And saw'd by me in all directions ; 
So small, Sir, that whoever views 'em 
Swears nothing but a doll could use 'em. 
To these, if you will add a store 
Of oddities upon the floor, 
A pair of globes, electric balls, 
Scales, quadrants, prisms, and cobbler's awls, 


And crowds of books on rotten shelves, 

Octavos, folios, quartos, twelves ; 

I think, dear Ned, you curious dog, 

You'll have my earthly catalogue. 

But stay, — I nearly had left out 

My bellows, destitute of snout; 

And on the walls,— Good Heavens! why there 

I've such a load of precious ware, 

Of heads, and coins, and silver medals, 

And organ works, and broken pedals ; 

(For I was once a-building music, 

Though soon of that employ I grew sick ; 

And skeletons of laws which shoot 

All out of one primordial root ; 

That you, at such a sight, would swear 

Confusion's self had settled there. 

There stands, just by a broken sphere, 
A Cicero without an ear, 
A neck, on which, by logic good, 
I know for sure a head once stood : 
But who it was the able master 

Had moulded in the mimic plaster, 

Whether 'twas Pope, or Coke, or Burn, 

I never yet could justly learn : 

But knowing well, that any head 

Is made to answer for the dead, 

(And sculptors first their faces frame, 

And after pitch upon a name, 

Nor think it aught of a misnomer 

To christen Chaucer's busto Homer, 

Because they both have beards, which, you know, 

Will mark them well from Joan and Juno,) 

For some great man, I could not tell 

But Neck might answer just as well, 


So perch'd it up, all in a row 
With Chatham and with Cicero, 

Then all around, in just degree, 
A range of portraits you may see 
Of mighty men, and eke of women, 
Who are no whit inferior to men. 

With these fair dames, and heroes round, 
I call my garret classic ground : 
For, though confined, 'twill well contain 
The ideal flights of Madam Brain. 
No dungeon's walls, no cell confined, 
Can cramp the energies of mind ! 
Thus, though my heart may seem so small, 
I've friends, and 'twill contain them all ; 
And should it e'er become so cold 
That these it will no longer hold, 
No more may Heaven her blessings give, — 
I shall not then be fit to live. 


Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire ! 
Whose modest form, so delicately fine, 

Was nursed in whirling storms, 

And cradled in the winds. 
Thee, when young Spring first question'd Winter's 

And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight, 

Thee on this bank he threw 

To mark his victory. 
In this low vale, the promise of the year, 
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale, 

Unnoticed and alone, 

Thy tender elegance. 

e 2 


So Virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms 
Of chill adversity : in some lone walk 

Of life she rears her head, 

Obscure and unobserved ; 
While every bleaching breeze that on her blows, 
Chastens her spotless purity of breast, 

And hardens her to bear 

Serene the ills of life. 


To the river Trent. Written on recovery from sickness. 
Once more, O Trent! along thy pebbly marge 

A pensive invalid, reduced and pale, 
From the close sick-room newly let at large, 

Wooes to his wan-worn cheek the pleasant gale. 
OJ to his ear how musical the tale 

Which fills with joy the throstle's little throat ! 
And all the sounds which on the fresh breeze sail, 

How wildly novel on his senses float ! 
It was on this that many a sleepless night, 

As, lone, he watch'd the taper's sickly gleam, 
And at his casement heard with wild affright, 

The owl's dull wing and melancholy scream, 
On this he thought, this, this his whole desire, 
Thus once again to hear the warbling woodland choir. 


Give me a cottage on some Cambrian wild, 
Where far from cities I may spend my days, 

And by the beauties of the scene beguiled, 
May pity man's pursuits, and shun his ways. 


While on the rock I mark the browsing goat, 

List to the mountain-turret's distant noise, 
Or the hoarse bittern's solitary note, 

I shall not want the world's delusive joys; 
But with my little scrip, my book, my lyre, 

Shall think my lot complete, nor covet more ; 
And when, with time, shall wane the vital fire, 

I'll raise my pillow on the distant shore, 
And lay me down to rest where the wild wave 
Shall make sweet music o'er my lonely grave. 


Supposed to have been addressed by a female lunatic to a lady. 

Lady, thou weepest for the Maniac's woe, 

And thou art fair, and thou, like me, art young ; 
Oh ! may thy bosom never, never know 

The pangs with which my wretched heart is wrung. 
I had a mother once — a brother too — 

(Beneath yon yew my father rests his head :) 
I had a lover once, — and kind, and true, 

But mother, brother, lover, all are fled ! 
Yet, whence the tear that dims thy lovely eye? 

Oh ! gentle lady — not for me thus weep, 
The green sod soon upon my breast will lie, 

And soft and sound will be my peaceful sleep. 
Go thou and pluck the roses while they bloom — 

My hopes lie buried in the silent tomb. 

* This quatorzain had its rise from an elegant sonnet, ' Occa- 
sioned by seeing a young female lunatic/ written by Mrs. Lofft, 
and. published in the Monthly Mirror. 



Supposed to be written by the unhappy poet Dennody, in a 
storm, while on board a ship in his Majesty's service. 

Lo ! o'er the welkin the tempestuous clouds 
Successive fly, and the loud-piping wind 

Rocks the poor sea-boy on the dripping shrouds, 
While the pale pilot, o'er the helm reclin'd, 

Lists to the changeful storm ; and as he plies 
His wakeful task, he oft bethinks him sad, 
Of wife and little home, and chubby lad, 

And the half-strangled tear bedews his eyes ; 

I, on the deck, musing on themes forlorn, 

View the drear tempest, and the yawning deep, 
Nought dreading in the green sea's caves to sleep, 

For not for me shall wife or children mourn, 

And the wild winds will ring my funeral knell 

Sweetly, as solemn peal of silent passing-bell. 



God help thee, Traveller, on thy journey far ; 
The wind is bitter keen, — the snow o'erlays 
The hidden pits, and dangerous hollow ways, 
And darkness, will involve thee. — No kind star 
To-night will guide thee, Traveller, — and the war 
Of winds and elements on thy head will break, 
And in thy agonizing ear the shriek 
Of spirits howling on their stormy car, 
Will often ring appalling. I portend 
A dismal night : and on my wakeful bed 
Thoughts, Traveller, of thee will fill my head, 
And him who rides where winds and waves contend, 
And strives, rude cradled on the seas, to guide 
His lonely bark through the tempestuous tide. 




This sonnet was addressed to the author of this volume, and was 
occasioned by several little quatorzains, misnomered sonnets, 
which he published in the Monthly Mirror. He begs leave to 
return his thanks to the much respected writer, for the permis- 
sion so politely granted to insert it here, and for the good opinion 
he has been pleased to express of his productions. 

Ye, whose aspirings court the muse of lays, 
' Severest of those orders which belong, 

Distinct and separate, to Delphic song/ 
Why shun the Sonnet's undulating maze ? 
And why its name, boast of Petrarchian days, 

Assume, it rules disown'd? Whom from the 
The muse selects, their ear the charm obeys 

Of its full harmony: they fear to wrong 
The Sonnet , by adorning with a name 

Of that distinguish'd import, lays, though sweet, 

Yet not in magic texture taught to meet 

Of that so varied and peculiar frame. 

O think ! to vindicate its genuine praise 
Those it beseems, whose Lyre a favouring impulse 



Let the sublimer muse, who, wrapt in night, 
Rides on the raven pennons of the storm, 
Or o'er the field, with purple havoc warm, 

Lashes her steeds, and sings along the fight, 


Let her, whom more ferocious strains delight, 
Disdain the plaintive Sonnet's little form, 
And scorn to its wild cadence to conform 
The impetuous tenor of her hardy flight. 
But me, far lowest of the sylvan train, 

Who wake the wood-nymphs from the forest shade 
With wildest song ; — Me, much behoves thy aid 
Of mingled melody, to grace my strain, 
And give it power to please, as soft it flows 
Through the smooth murmurs of thy frequent close, 



So ravishingly soft upon the tide 
Of the infuriate gust, it did career, 
It might have sooth'd its rugged charioteer, 
And sunk him to a zephyr; — then it died, 
Melting in melody ; — and I descried, 

Borne to some wizard stream, the form appear 
Of druid sage, who on the far-off ear 
Pour'd his lone song, to which the sage replied : 
Or thought I heard the hapless pilgrim's knell, 
Lost in some wild enchanted forest's bounds, 
By unseen beings sung; or are these sounds 
Such as, 'tis said, at night are known to swell 
By startled shepherd, on the lonely heath 
Keeping his night-watch, sad portending death ? 


What art thou, Mighty One? and where thy seat? 
Thou broodest on the calm that cheers the lands, 
And thou dost bear within thine awful hands 

The rolling thunders and the lightnings fleet; 


Stern on thy dark-wrought car of cloud and wind 

Thou guid'st the northern storm at night's dead 

Or on the red wing of the fierce monsoon 
Disturb'st the sleeping giant of the Ind. 
In the drear silence of the polar span 

Dost thou repose? or in the solitude 
Of sultry tracts, where the lone caravan 

Hears nightly howl the tiger's hungry brood ? 
Vain thought, the confines of his throne to trace, 
Who glows through all the fields of boundless space! 


Be hush'd, be hush'd, ye bitter winds, 

Ye pelting rains a little rest: 
Lie still, lie still, ye busy thoughts, 

That wring with grief my aching breast. 

Oh ! cruel was my faithless love, 
To triumph o'er an artless maid; 

Oh ! cruel was my faithless love, 

To leave the breast by him betrayed. 

When exiled from my native home, 
He should have wiped the bitter tear ; 

Nor left me faint and lone to roam, 
A heart-sick weary wanderer here. 

My child moans sadly in my arms, 
The winds they will not let it sleep : 

Ah ! little knows the hapless babe 

What makes its wretched mother weep. 


Now lie thee still, my infant dear, 
I cannot bear thy sobs to see, 

Harsh is thy father, little one, 
And never will he shelter thee. 

Oh that I were but in my grave, 

And winds were piping o'er me loud, 

And thou, my poor, my orphan babe, 
Were nestling in thy mother's shroud ! 


Sleep, baby mine,* enkerchieft on my bosom, 
Thy cries they pierce again my bleeding breast; 

Sleep, baby mine, not long thou'lt have a mother 
To lull thee fondly in her arms to rest. 

Baby, why dost thou keep this sad complaining? 

Long from mine eyes have kindly slumbers fled ; 
Hush, hush, my babe, the night is quickly waning, 

And I would fain compose my aching head. 

Poor wayward wretch ! and who will heed thy weeping, 
When soon an outcast on the world thou'lt be : 

Who then will soothe thee, when thy mother's sleeping 
In her low grave of shame and infamy! 

Sleep, baby mine — To-morrow I must leave thee, 
And I would snatch an interval of rest : 

Sleep these last moments, ere the laws bereave thee, 
For never more thou'lt press a mother's breast. 

* Sir P. Sidney has a poem beginning ' Sleep, baby mine.' 




On seeing engravings from his designs. 

Mighty magician! who on Torneo's brow, 

When sullen tempests wrap the throne of night, 
Art wont to sit and catch the gleam of light 

That shoots athwart the gloom opaque below ; 

And listen to the distant death-shriek long 
From lonely mariner foundering on the deep, 
Which rises slowly up the rocky steep, 

While the weird sisters weave the horrid song: 
Or when along the liquid sky 
Serenely chant the orbs on high, 
Dost love to sit in musing trance, 
And mark the northern meteor's dance 
(While far below the fitful oar 
Flings its faint pauses on the steepy shore), 
And list the music of the breeze, 
That sweeps by fits the bending seas; 
And often bears with sudden swell 
The shipwreck'd sailor's funeral knell, 
By the spirits sung, who keep 
Their night-watch on the treach'rous deep, 
And guide the wakeful helms-man's eye 
To Helice in northern sky : 
And there upon the rock inclined 
With mighty visions fill'st the mind, 


Such as. bound in magic spell 

Him* who grasp' d the gates of Hell, 
And bursting Pluto's dark domain, 
Held to the day the terrors of his reign. 

Genius of Horror and romantic awe, 

Whose eye explores the secrets of the deep, 
Whose power can bid the rebel fluids creep, 

Can force the inmost soul to own its law ; 
Who shall now, sublimest spirit, 
Who shall now thy wand inherit, 
From him,+ thy darling child, who best 
Thy shuddering images express'd? 
Sullen of soul, and stern and proud, 
His gloomy spirit spurn'd the crowd, 
And now he lays his aching head 

In the dark mansion of the silent dead. 

Mighty magician ! long thy wand has lain 
Buried beneath the unfathomable deep; 
And oh! for ever must its efforts sleep, 

May none the mystic sceptre e'er regain 1 
Oh yes, 'tis his ! — thy other son ; 
He throws thy dark- wrought tunic on, 
Fuesslin waves thy wand, — again they rise, 
Again thy wildering forms salute our ravish'd eyes. 

Him didst thou cradle on the dizzy steep, 

Where round his head the volley'd lightnings flung, 
And the loud winds that round his pillow rung, 

Wooed the stern infant to the arms of sleep; 

Or on the highest top of Teneriffe 
Seated the foolish boy, and bade him look 

Where, far below, the weather-beaten skiff 
On the gulf bottom of the ocean strook. 

* Dante. t Ibid. 


Thou mark'dst him drink with ruthless ear 

The death-sob, and, disdaining rest, 
Thou saw'st how danger fir'd his breast, 
And in his young hand couch'd the visionary 
Then, Superstition, at thy call, 
She bore the boy to Odin's Hall, 
And set before his awe-struck sight 
The savage feast and spectred fight; 
And summon'd from his mountain tomb 
The ghastly warrior son of gloom, 
His fabled Runic rhymes to sing, 
While fierce Hresvelger flapp'd his wing; 
Thou shew'dst the trains the shepherd sees 
Laid on the stormy Hebrides, 
Which on the mists of evening gleam, 
Or crowd the foaming desert stream ; 
Lastly, her storied hand she waves, 
And lays him in Florentian caves ; 
There milder fables, lovelier themes, 
Enwrap his soul in heavenly dreams, 
There Pity's lute arrests his ear, 
And draws the half-reluctant tear ; 
And now at noon of night he roves 
Along th' embowering moonlight groves, 
And as from many a cavern'd dell 
The hollow wind is heard to swell, 
He thinks some troubled spirit sighs ; 
And as upon the turf he lies, 
Where sleeps the silent beam of night, 
He sees below the gliding sprite, 
And hears in fancy's organs sound 
Aerial music warbling round. 


Taste lastly comes and smoothes the whole, 
And breathes her polish o'er his soul ; 
Glowing with wild, yet chasten'd heat, 
The wondrous work is now complete. 

The Poet dreams ; — The shadow flies, 

And fainting fast its image dies. 

But lo ! the Painter's magic force 

Arrests the phantom's fleeting course ; 

It lives — it lives — the canvass glows, 

And tenfold vigour o'er it flows. 
The Bard beholds the work achieved, 

And as he sees the shadow rise, 

Sublime before his wondering eyes, 
Starts at the image his own mind conceived. 



Retired, remote from human noise, 

An humble poet dwelt serene ; 
His lot was lowly, yet his joys 

Were manifold, I ween. 
He laid him by the brawling brook 
At eventide to ruminate, 

He watch'd the swallow skimming round, 
And mused, in reverie profound, 
On wayward man's unhappy state, [date. 

And ponder'd much, and paused on deeds of ancient 

II. 1. — <Oh, 'twas not always thus,' he cried, 

1 There was a time, when Genius claimed 
Respect from even towering Pride, 
Nor hung her head ashamed : 
But now to Wealth alone we bow, 


The titled and the rich alone 
Are honour'd, while meek Merit pines, 
On Penury's wretched couch reclines, 

Unheeded in his dying moan, [known. 

As, overwhelm'd with want and woe, he sinks un- 

III. 1.— * Yet was the muse not always seen 
In Poverty's dejected mien, 
Not always did repining rue, 
And misery her steps pursue. 
Time was, when nobles thought their titles graced, 
By the sweet honours of poetic bays, 

When Sidney sung his melting song, 
When Sheffield joined th' harmonious throng, 
And Lyttleton attuned to love his lays. 
Those days are gone — alas, for ever gone ! 

No more our nobles love to grace 
Their brows with anadems, by genius won, 
But arrogantly deem the muse as base; 
How different thought the sires of this degenerate race V 

I. 2. — Thus sang the minstrel : — still at eve 

The upland's wOody shades among 
In broken measures did he grieve, 

With solitary song. 
And still his shame was aye the same, 
Neglect had stung him to the core ; 
And he with pensive joy did love 
To seek the still congenial grove, 
And muse on all his sorrows o'er, 
And vow that he would join the abjured world no more. 

II. 2. — But human vows, Jiow frail they be ! 

Fame brought Carlisle unto his view, 
And all amazed, he thought to see 
The Augustan age anew. 
t 2 


Fill'd with wild rapture, up he rose, 
No more he ponders on the woes, 
Which erst he felt that forward goes, 
Regrets he'd sunk in impotence, 
And hails the ideal day of virtuous eminence. 

III. 2. — Ah ! silly man, yet smarting sore 
With ills which in the world he bore, 
Again on futile hope to rest, 
An unsubstantial prop at best, 
And not to know one swallow makes no summer ! 
Ah ! soon he'll find the brilliant gleam, 
Which flashed across the hemisphere, 
Illumining the darkness there, 

Was but a single solitary beam, 
While all around remain'd in custom'd night. 

Still leaden Ignorance reigns serene 
In the false court's delusive height, 
And only one Carlisle is seen, 
To illume the heavy gloom with pure and steady light. 


Down the sultry arc of day 

The burning wheels have urged their way, 

And eve along the western skies 

Spreads her intermingling dyes. 

Down the deep, the miry lane, 

Creaking comes the empty wain, 

And driver on the shaft-horse sits, 

Whistling now and then by fits ; 

And oft with his accustomed call, 

Urging on the sluggish Ball. 

The barn is still, the master's gone, 

And thresher puts his jacket on; 


While Dick, upon the ladder tall, 

Nails the dead kite to the wall. 

Here comes shepherd Jack at last, 

He has penn'd the sheep-cote fast, 

For 'twas but two nights before 

A lamb was eaten on the moor : 

His empty wallet Rover carries, 

Now for Jack, when near home, tarries ; 

With lolling tongue he runs to try 

If the horse-trough be not dry. 

The milk is settled in the pans, 

And supper messes in the cans ; 

In the hovel carts are wheel'd, 

And both the colts are drove a-field ; 

The horses are all bedded up, 

And the ewe is with the tup ; 

The snare for Mister Fox is set, 

The leaven laid, the thatching wet ; 

And Bess has slink* d away to talk 

With Roger in the holly-walk. 

Now on the settle, all but Bess 
Are set to eat their supper mess ; 
And little Tom, and roguish Kate, 
Are swinging on the meadow gate. 
Now they chat of various things, 
Of taxes, ministers, and kings; 
Or else tell all the village news, 
How madam did the squire refuse ; 
How parson on his tithes was bent, 
And landlord oft distrain'd for rent. 
Thus do they talk, till in the sky 
The pale-eyed moon is mounted high, 
And from the alehouse drunken Ned 
Had reel'd — then hasten all to bed. 
r 3 


The mistress sees that lazy Kate 
The happing coal on kitchen grate 
Has laid — while master goes throughout, 
Sees shutters fast, the mastiff out, 
The candles safe, the hearths all clear, 
And nought from thieves or fire to fear ; 
Then both to bed together creep. 
And join the general troop of sleep. 


Come, pensive sage, who lov'st to dwell 
In some retired Lapponian cell, 
Where, far from noise and riot rude, 
Resides sequester'd Solitude. 
Come, and o'er my longing soul 
Throw thy dark and russet stole, 
And open to my duteous eyes, 
The volume of thy mysteries. 
I will meet thee on the hill, 
Where with printless footsteps still 
The morning in her buskin gray, 
Springs upon her eastern way ; 
While the frolic zephyrs stir, 
Playing with the gossamer, 
And, on ruder pinions borne, 
Shake the dew-drops from the thorn. 
There, as o'er the fields we pass, 
Brushing with hasty feet the grass, 
We will startle from her nest 
The lively lark with speckled breast, 
And hear the floating clouds among 
Her gale-transported matin song ; 


Or on the upland stile embower'd, 
With fragrant hawthorn snowy flower'd, 
Will sauntering sit, and listen still 
To the herdsman's oaten quill, 
Wafted from the plain below ; 
Or the heifer's frequent low ; 
Or the milkmaid in the grove, 
Singing of one that died for love. 
Or when the noontide heats oppress, 
We will seek the dark recess, 
Where, in th' embower'd translucent stream, 
The cattle shun the sultry beam, 
And o'er us on the marge reclined, 
The drowsy fly her horn shall wind, 
While Echo, from her ancient oak, 
Shall answer to the woodman's stroke ; 
Or the little peasant's song, 
Wandering lone the glens among, 
His artless lip with berries dyed, 
And feet through ragged shoes descried. 
But oh ! when evening's virgin queen 
Sits on her fringed throne serene, 
And mingling whispers rising near 
Still on the still reposing ear : 
While distant brooks decaying round, 
Augment the mix'd dissolving sound, 
And the zephyr flitting by, 
Whispers mystic harmony, 
We will seek the woody lane, 
By the hamlet, on the plain, 
Where the weary rustic nigh, 
Shall whistle his wild melody, 
And the croaking wicket oft 
Shall echo from the neighbouring croft ; 


And as we trace the green path lone, 
With moss and rank weeds overgrown, 
We will muse on pensive lore 
Till the full soul, brimming o'er, 
Shall in our upturn'd eyes appear 
Embodied in a quivering tear. 
Or else, serenely silent, set 
By the brawling rivulet, 
Which on its calm unruffled breast 
Bears the old mossy arch impress'd, 
Thai clasps its secret stream of glass 
Half hid in shrubs and waving grass, 
The wood-nymph's lone secure retreat, 
Unpress'd by fawn or sylvan's feet; 
We'll watch in eve's ethereal braid, 
The rich vermilion slowly fade ; 
Or catch, faint twinkling from afar, 
The first glimpse of the eastern star. 
Fair Vesper, mildest lamp of light, 
That heralds in imperial night ; 
Meanwhile, upon our wandering ear 
Shall rise, though low, yet sweetly clear, 
The distant sounds of pastoral lute, 
Invoking soft the sober suit 
Of dimmest darkness — fitting well 
With love, or sorrow's pensive spell, 
(So erst did music's silver tone 
Wake slumbering Chaos on his throne). 
And haply then, with sudden swell, 
Shall roar the distant curfew bell, 
While in the castle's mouldering tower 
The hooting owl is heard to pour 
Her melancholy song, and scare 
Dull Silence brooding in the air. 


Meanwhile her dusk and slumbering car, 

Black-suited Night drives on from far, 

And Cynthia, 'merging from her rear, 

Arrests the waxing darkness drear, 

And summons to her silent call, 

Sweeping, in their airy pall, 

The unshrieved ghosts, in fairy trance, 

To join her moonshine morrice-dance ; 

While around the mystic ring 

The shadowy shapes elastic spring, 

Then with a passing shriek they fly. 

Wrapt in mists, along the sky, 

And oft are by the shepherd seen, 

In his lone night-watch on the green. 
Then, hermit, let us turn our feet 

To the low abbey's still retreat, 

Embower'd in the distant glen, 

Far from the haunts of busy men, 

Where as we sit upon the tomb 

The glow-worm's light may gild the gloom, 

And shew to Fancy's saddest eye 

Where some lost hero's ashes lie. 
And oh, as through the mouldering arch, 
With ivy fill'd and weeping larch, 
The night- gale whispers sadly clear, 
Speaking drear things to Fancy's ear, 
We'll hold communion with the shade 
Of some deep-wailing, ruin'd maid — 
Or call the ghost of Spenser down, 
To tell of woe and Fortune's frown ; 
And bid us cast the eye of hope 
Beyond this bad world's narrow scope. 
Or if these joys, to us denied, 
To linger by the forest's side ; 


Or in the meadow, or the wood, 

Or by the lone, romantic flood ; 

Let us in the busy town, 

When sleep's dull streams the people drown, 

Far from drowsy pillows flee, 

And turn the church's massy key; 

Then, as through the painted glass 

The moon's faint beams obscurely pass, 

And darkly on the trophied wall 

Her faint, ambiguous shadows fall ; 

Let us, while the faint winds wail 

Through the long reluctant aisle, 

As we pace with reverence meet, 

Count the echoings of our feet; 

While from the tombs, with confess'd breath. 

Distinct responds the voice of death. 

If thou, mild sage, wilt condescend, 

Thus on my footsteps to attend, 

To thee my lonely lamp shall burn 

By fallen Genius' sainted urn, 

As o'er the scroll of time I pore, 

And sagely spell of ancient lore, 

Till I can rightly guess of all 

That Plato could to memory call, 

And scan the formless views of things; 

Or, with old Egypt's fetter'd kings, 

Arrange the mystic trains that shine 

In night's high philosophic mine ; 

And to thy name shall e'er belong 

The honours of undying song. 



Oh ! thou who in my early youth, 

When fancy wore the garb of truth, 

Were wont to win my infant feet, 

To some retired, deep-fabled seat, 

Where, by the brooklet's secret tide, 

The midnight ghost was seen to glide ; 

Or lay me in some lonely glade, 

In native Sherwood's forest shade, 

Where Robin Hood, the outlaw bold, 

Was wont his sylvan courts to hold ; 

And there, as musing deep I lay, 

Would steal my little soul away, 

And all thy pictures represent 

Of siege and solemn tournament ; 

Or bear me to the magic scene, 

Where, clad in greaves and gaberdine, 

The warrior knight of chivalry 

Made many a fierce enchanter flee ; 

And bore the high-born dame away, 

Long held the fell magician's prey ; 

Or oft would tell the shuddering tale 

Of murders, and of goblins pale, 

Haunting the guilty baron's side, 

(Whose floors with secret blood were dyed), 

Wliich o'er the vaulted corridore, 

On stormy nights was heard to roar, 

By old domestic, waken'd wide 

By the angry winds that chide; 

Or else the mystic tale would tell 

Of Greensleeve, or of Blue-beard fell, 



Oh ! yonder is the well-known spot, 

My dear, my long-lost native home; 
Oh ! welcome is yon little cot, 

Where I shall rest, no more to roam! 
Oh ! I have travelled far and wied, 

O'er many a distant foreign land ; 
Each place, each province I have tried, 

And sung and danced my saraband. 
But all their charms could not prevail 
To steal my heart from yonder vale. 

Of distant climes the false report 

Allured me from my native land; 
It bade me rove — my sole support 

My cymbals and my saraband. 
The woody dell, the hanging rock, 

The chamois skipping o'er the heights; 
The plain adorn'd with many a flock, 

And, oh ! a thousand more delights 
That grace yon dear beloved retreat, 
Have backward won my weary feet. 

Now safe return'd, with wandering tired, 

No more my little home I'll leave ; 
And many a tale of what I've seen 

Shall while away the winter's eve. 
Oh ! I have wander'd far and wide, 

O'er many a distant foreign land ; 
Each place, each province 1 have tried, 

And sung and danced my saraband ; 
But all their charms could not prevail, 
To steal my heart from yonder vale,. 


Written impromptu, on reading the following passage in Mr. Capel 
Lofft's beautiful and interesting Preface to Nathaniel Bloomfield's 
Poems, just published : — ' It has a mixture of the sportive, which 
deepens the impression of its melancholy close. I could have 
wished, as I have said in a short note, the conclusion had been 
otherwise. The sours of life less offend my taste than its sweeps 
delight it/ 

Go to the raging sea, and say, ' Be still V 
Bid the wild lawless winds obey thy will ; 
Preach to the storm, and reason with Despair, 
But tell not Misery's son that life is fair. 

Thou, who in Plenty's lavish lap hast roll'd, 
And every year with new delight hast told, 
Thou, who recumbent on the lacquer'd barge, 
Hast dropt down joy's gay stream of pleasant marge, 
Thou may'st extol life's calm, untroubled sea, 
The storms of misery never burst on thee. 

Go to the mat, where squalid Want reclines, 
Go to the shade obscure, where Merit pines : 
Abide with him whom Penury's charms control, 
And bind the rising yearnings of his soul, 
Survey his sleepless couch, and standing there, 
Tell the poor pallid wretch that life is fair ! 

Press thou the lonely pillow of his head, 
And ask why sleep his languid eyes has fled ; 
Mark his dew'd temples, and his half-shut eye, 
His trembling nostrils, and his deep-drawn sigh, 
His muttering mouth contorted with despair, 
And ask if Genius could inhabit there. 

Oh, yes ! that sunken eye with fire once gleam'd, 
And rays of light from its full circlet stream'd ; 
But now Neglect has stung him to the core, 
And Hope's wild raptures thrill his breast no more ; 



Domestic anguish winds his vitals round, 
And added grief compels him to the ground. 
Lo ! o'er his manly form, decay'd and wan, 
The shades of death with gradual steps steal on ; 
And the pale mother, pining to decay, 
Weeps for her boy her wretched life away. 

Go, child of Fortune ! to his early grave, 
Where o'er his head obscure the rank weeds wave; 
Behold the heart-wrung parent lay her head 
On the cold turf, and ask to share his bed. 
Go, child of Fortune, take thy lesson there, 
And tell us then that life is wondrous fair ! 

Yet LofFt, in thee, whose hand is still stretch'd forth 
T' encourage genius, and to foster worth : 
On thee, the unhappy' s firm, unfailing friend, 
'Tis just that every blessing should descend ; 
'Tis just that life to thee should only shew 
Her fairer side but little mix'd with woe. 


Sad solitary Thought, who keep'st thy vigils, 

Thy solemn vigils in the sick man's mind ; 

Communing lonely with his sinking soul, 

And musing on the dubious glooms that lie 

In dim obscurity before him, — thee, 

Wrapt in thy dark magnificence, I call 

At this still midnight hour, this awful season, 

When on my bed, in wakeful restlessness, 

I turn me wearisome ; while all around, 

All, all, save me, sink in forgetfulness ; 

I only wake to watch the sickly taper 

Which lights me to my tomb.— Yea, 'tis the hand 


Of Death I feel press heavy on my vitals, 
Slow sapping the warm current of existence. 
My moments now are few — the sand of life 
Ebbs fastly to its finish. — Yet a little, 
And the last fleeting particle will fall, 
Silent, unseen, unnoticed, unlamented : 
Come then, sad Thought, and let us meditate 
While meditate we may. — We have now 
But a small portion of what men call time 
To hold communion : for even now the knife, 
The separating knife, I feel divide 
The tender bond that binds my soul to earth. 
Yes, I must die — I feel that I must die ; 
And though to me has life been dark and dreary, 
Though Hope for me has smiled but to deceive, 
And Disappointment still pursued her blandishments, 
Yet do I feel my soul recoil within me 
As I contemplate the dim gulf of death, 
The shuddering void, the awful blank— futurity. 
Ay, I had plann'd full many a sanguine scheme 
Of earthly happiness— romantic schemes, 
And fraught with loveliness ; and it is hard 
To feel the hand of Death arrest one's steps, 
Throw a chill blight o'er all one's budding hopes, 
And hurl one's soul untimely to the shades, 
Lost in the gaping gulf of blank oblivion. 
Fifty years hence, and who will hear of Henry? 
Oh ! none ; — another busy brood of beings 
Will shoot up in the interim, and none 
Will hold him in remembrance. I shall sink, 
As sinks a stranger in the crowded streets 
Of busy London : — Some short bustle ; s caused, 
A few inquiries, and the crowds close in, 
And all 's forgotten, — On my grassy grave 
g 2 


The men of future times will careless tread, 

And read my name upon my sculptured stone ; 

Nor will the sound, familiar to their ears, 

Recal my vanish'd memory.— I did hope 

For better things ! — I hoped I should not leave 

The earth without a vestige ; — Fate decrees 

It shall be otherwise, and I submit. 

Henceforth, oh world, no more of thy desires! 

No more of hope ! the wanton vagrant Hope ! 

I abjure all. — Now other cares engross me, 

And my tired soul, with emulative haste, 

Looks to its God, and prunes its wings for Heaven. 


Come, Anna! come, the morning dawns, 

Faint streaks of radiance tinge the skies : 
Come, let us seek the dewy lawns, 
And watch the early lark arise ; 
While Nature, clad in vesture gay, 
Hails the lov'd return of day. 

Our flocks, that nip the scanty blade 

Upon the moor, shall seek the vale ; 
And then, secure beneath the shade, 
We'll listen to the throstle's tale : 
And watch the silver clouds above, 
As o'er the azure vault they rove. 

Come, Anna ! come, and bring thy lute, 

That with its tones, so softly sweet, 
In cadence with my mellow flute, 
We may beguile the noontide heat; 
While near the mellow bee shall join, 
To raise a harmony divine. 


And then at eve, when silence reigns, 

Except when heard the beetle's hum, 
We'll leave the sober-tinted plains, 

To these sweet heights again we'll come ; 
And thou on thy soft lute shall play 
A solemn vesper to departing day. 


When pride and envy, and the scorn 

Of wealth, my heart with gall embued, 
I thought how pleasant were the morn 

Of silence, in the solitude; 
To hear the forest bee on wing, 
Or by the stream, or woodland spring, 
To lie and muse alone — alone, 
While the tinkling waters moan, 
Or such wild sounds arise, as say, 
Man and noise are far away. 

Now, surely, thought I, there's enow, 

To fill life's dusty way ; 
And who will miss a poet's feet, 

Or wonder where he stray: 
So to the woods and waste I'll go, 

And I will build an osier bower ; 
And sweetly there to me shall flow 

The meditative hour. 

And when the Autumn's withering hand 
Shall strew with leaves the sylvan land, . 
I'll to the forest caverns hie : 
And in the dark and stormy nights 
I'll listen to the shrieking sprites, 
g 3 


Who, in the wintry wolds and floods, 
Keep jubilee, and shred the woods ; 
Or, as it drifted soft and slow, 
Hurl in ten thousand shapes the snow. 
* * * * 


Bloomfield, thy happy-omen'd name 
Ensures continuance to thy fame ; 
Both sense and truth this verdict give, 
While Jields shall- bloom, thy name shall live! 


Season of general rest, whose solemn still 
Strikes to the trembling heart a fearful chill, 

But speaks to philosophic souls delight, 
Thee do I hail, as at my casement high, 
My candle waning melancholy by, 

I sit and taste the holy calm of night. 

Yon pensive orb, that through the ether sails, 
And gilds the misty shadows of the vales, 

Hanging in thy dull rear her vestal flame, 
To her, while all around in sleep recline, 
Wakeful I raise my orisons divine, 

And sing the gentle honours of her name ; 

While Fancy lone o'er me her votary bends, 
To lift my soul her fairy visions sends, 

And pours upon my ear her thrilling song, 
And Superstition's gentle terrors come, 
See, see yon dim ghost gliding through the gloom ! 

See round yon churchyard elm what spectres throng! 


Meanwhile I tune, to some romantic lay, 
My flageolet — and, as I pensive play, 

The sweet notes echo o'er the mountain scene : 
The traveller late journeying o'er the moors 
Hears them aghast, — (while still the dull owl pours 

Her hollow screams each dreary pause between), 

Till in the lonely tower he spies the light 
Now faintly flashing on the glooms of night, 

Where I, poor muser, my lone vigils keep, 
And 'mid the dreary solitude serene, 
Cast a much-meaning glance upon the scene, 

And raise my mournful eye to heaven, and weep. 



Hence, away, vindictive Thought! 

Thy pictures are of pain ; 
The visions through thy dark eye caught, 
They with no gentle charms are fraught, 
So pr'ythee back again. 
I would not weep, 
I wish to sleep, 
Then why, thou busy foe, with me thy vigils keep? 

Why dost o'er bed and couch recline? 

Is this thy new delight? 
Pale visitant, it is not thine 
To keep thy sentry through the mine, 
The dark vault of the night: 
'Tis thine to die, 
While o'er the eye 
The dews of slumber press, and waking sorrows fly. 


Go thou, and bide with him who guides 

His bark through lonely seas ; 
And as, reclining on his helm, 
Sadly he marks the starry realm, 
To him thou may'st bring ease; 
But thou to me 

Art misery, [pillow flee. 

So pr'ythee, pr'ythee, plume thy wings, and from my 

And, Memory, pray what art thou ? 

Art thou of pleasure born ? 
Does bliss untainted from thee flow? 
The rose that gems thy pensive brow, 
Is it without a thorn? 
With all thy smiles, 

And witching wiles, [files. 

Yet not unfrequent bitterness thy mournful sway de- 

The drowsy night-watch has forgot 

To call the solemn hour; 
Lull'd by the winds he slumbers deep, 
While I in vain, capricious Sleep, 
Invoke thy tardy power ; 
And restless lie, 
With unclosed eye, 
And count the tedious hours as slow they minute by. 


I. 1. Many there be, who, through the vale of life, 
With velvet pace, unnoticed, softly go, 
While jarring Discord's inharmonious strife 
Awakes them not to woe. 
By them unheeded, carking Care, 
Green-eyed Grief, and dull Despair; 


Smoothly they pursue their way, 

With even tenor and with equal breath, 

Alike through cloudy and through sunny day, 
Then sink in peace to death. 

II. 1. But, ah! a few there be whom griefs devour, 

And weeping Woe, and Disappointment 
Repining Penury, and Sorrow sour, [keen, 
And self-consuming Spleen. 
And these are Genius' favourites : these 
Know the thought-throned mind to please, 
And from her fleshy seat to draw 

To realms where Fancy's golden orbits roll, 
Disdaining all but 'wildering Rapture's law, 
The captivated soul. 

III. 1. Genius, from thy starry throne, 

High above the burning zone, 
In radiant robe of light array'd, 
Oh! hear the plaint by thy sad favourite made, 

His melancholy moan. 
He tells of scorn, he tells of broken vows, 

Of sleepless nights, of anguish-ridden 
Pangs that his sensibility uprouse [days, 

To curse his being and his thirst for praise. 
Thou gav'st to him with treble force to feel 

The sting of keen neglect, the rich man's 
And what o'er all does in his soul preside 

Predominant, and tempers him to steel, 
His high indignant pride. 

I. 2. Lament not ye, who humbly steal through life, 
That Genius visits not your lowly shed ; 
For, ah, what woes and sorrows ever rife 
Distract his hapless head ! 


For him awaits no balmy deep, 
He wakes all night, and wakes to weep ; 
Or by his lonely lamp he sits 

At solemn midnight, when the peasant 
In feverish study, and in moody fits [sleeps, 
His mournful vigils keeps. 

II. 2. And, oh! for what consumes his watchful oil? 

For what does thus he waste life's fleeting 
Tis for neglect and penury he doth toil, 
'Tis for untimely death. 
Lo ! where dejected pale he lies, 
Despair depicted in his eyes, 
He feels the vital flame decrease, [P re y> 

He sees the grave wide-yawning for its 
Without a friend to soothe his soul to peace, 
x4nd cheer the expiring ray. 

III. 2. By Sulmo's bard of mournful fame, 

By gentle Otway's magic name, 

By him, the youth, who smiled at death, 

And rashly dared to stop his vital breath, 

Will I thy pangs proclaim ; 
For still to misery closely thou'rt allied, 
Though gaudy pageants glitter by thy side, 

And far-resounding Fame, 
What though to thee the dazzled millions bow, 
And to thy posthumous merit bend them low; 
Though unto thee the monarch looks with awe, 
And thou at thy flash'd car dost nations draw, 
Yet, ah ! unseen behind thee fly 

Corroding Anguish, soul-subduing Pain, 
And Discontent that clouds the fairest sky — 
A melancholy train. 


Yes, Genius, thee a thousand cares await, 

Mocking- thy derided state ; 

Thee chill Adversity will still attend, 

Before whose face flies fast the summer's 
And leaves thee all forlorn; [laughs, 
While leaden Ignorance rears her head and 
And fat Stupidity shakes his jolly sides, 
And while the cup of affluence he quaffs 
With bee-eyed Wisdom, Genius derides, 
Who toils, and every hardship doth outbrave, 
To gain the meed of praise, when he is moulder- 
ing in his grave. 


Mild orb, who floatest through the realm of night, 

A pathless wanderer o'er a lonely wild, 
Welcome to me thy soft and pensive light, 

Which oft in childhood my lone thoughts beguiled ; 
Now doubly dear, as o'er my silent seat, 
Nocturnal Study's still retreat, 
It casts a mournful melancholy gleam, 

And through my lofty casement weaves, 
Dim through the vine's encircling leaves, 
An intermingled beam. 

These feverish dews that on my temples hang, 

This quivering lip, these eyes of dying flame : 
These the dread signs of many a secret pang, 

These are the meed of him who pants for fame! 
Pale Moon, from thoughts like these divert my soul ; 

Lowly I kneel before thy shrine on high ; 
My lamp expires; — Beneath thy mild control, 

These restless dreams are ever wont to fly. 


Come, kindred mourner, in my breast 
Soothe these discordant tones to rest, 

And breathe the soul of peace ; 
Mild visitor, I feel thee here, 
It is not pain that brings this tear, 
For thou hast bid it cease. 

Oh ! many a year has pass'd away 
Since I beneath thy fairy ray 

Attuned my infant reed ; 
When wilt thou, Time, those days restore, 
Those happy moments now no more — ■ 
* * * * 

When on the lake's damp marge I lay, 

And mark'd the northern meteor's dance, 
Bland Hope and Fancy, ye were there 
To inspirate my trance. 

Twin sisters, faintly now ye deign 
Your magic sweets on me to shed, 
In vain your powers are now essay'd 
To chase superior pain. 

And art thou fled, thou welcome orb ? 
So swiftly pleasure flies ; 

So to mankind, in darkness lost, 
The beam of ardour dies. 
Wan Moon, thy nightly task is done, 
And now, encurtain'd in the main, 

Thou sinkest into rest ; 
But I, in vain, on thorny bed 
Shall woo the god of soft repose — 



Loud rage the winds without. — The wintry cloud 
O'er the cold north star casts her flitting shroud ; 
And Silence, pausing in some snow-clad dale, 
Starts, as she hears, by fits, the shrieking gale ; 
Where now, shut out from every still retreat, 
Her pine-clad summit, and her woodland seat, 
Shall Meditation, in her saddest mood, 
Retire, o'er all her pensive stores to brood? 
Shivering and blue, the peasant eyes askance 
The drifted fleeces that around him dance, 
And hurries on his half-averted form, 
Stemming the fury of the sidelong storm. 
Him soon shall greet his snow-topt [cot of thatch], 
Soon shall his numb'd hand tremble on the latch, 
Soon from his chimney's nook the cheerful flame 
Diffuse a genial warmth throughout his frame; 
Round the light fire, while roars the north-wind loud, 
What merry groups of vacant faces crowd ; 
These hail his coming — these his meal prepare, 
And boast in all that cot no lurking care. 

What, though the social circle be denied, 
Even Sadness brightens at her own fire-side, 
Loves, with fixed eye, to watch the fluttering blaze, 
While musing Memory dwells on former days ; 
Or Hope, blest spirit! smiles — and, still forgiven, 
Forgets the passport, while she points to heaven. 
Then heap the fire — shut out the biting air, 
And from its station wheel the easy chair: 
Thus fenced and warm, in silent fit, 'tis sweet 
To hear without the bitter tempest beat 


All, all alone — to sit, and muse, and sigh, 
The pensive tenant of obscurity, 

* * * * 


Oh ! thou most fatal of Pandora's train, 

Consumption ! silent cheater of the eye; 
Thou com'st not robed in agonizing pain, 

Nor mark'st thy course with Death's delusive dye; 

But silent and unnoticed thou dost lie ; 
O'er life's soft springs thy venom dost diffuse, 

And, while thou giv'st new lustre to the eye, 
While o'er the cheek are spread health's ruddy hues, 
Even then life's little rest thy cruel power subdues. 

Oft I've beheld thee, in the glow of youth 

Hid 'neath the blushing roses which there bloom'd, 

And dropp'd a tear, for then thy cankering tooth 
I knew would never stay, till, all consumed, 
In the cold vault of death he were entomb'd. 

But oh! what sorrow did I feel, as swift, 
Insidious ravager, I saw thee fly 

Through fair Lucina's breast of whitest snow, 
Preparing swift her passage to the sky ! 

Though still intelligence beam'd in the glance, 
The liquid lustre of her fine blue eye ; 

Yet soon did languid listlessness advance, 

And soon she calmly sunk in death's repugnant trance. 

Even when her end was swiftly drawing near, 
And dissolution hover'd o'er her head ; 

Even then so beauteous did he,r form appear, 
That none who saw her but admiring said, 


Sure so much beauty never could be dead, 
Yet the dark lash of her expressive eye, 
Bent lowly down upon the languid 



Lofft, unto thee one tributary song 

The simple muse, admiring, fain would bring; 

She longs to lisp thee to the listening throng, 

And with thy name to bid the woodlands ring. 

Fain would she blazon all thy virtues forth, 
Thy warm philanthropy, thy justice mild, 

Would say how thou didst foster kindred worth, 
And to thy bosom snatch'd Misfortune's child; 

Firm she would paint thee, with becoming zeal, 
Upright, and learned, as the Pylian sire, 
Would say how sweetly thou couldst sweep the lyre, 

And shew thy labours for the public weal; 
Ten thousand virtues tell with joys supreme, 
But ah ! she shrinks abash'd before the arduous 



Sublime, emerging from the misty verge 
Of th' horizon dim, thee, Moon, I hail, 
As, sweeping o'er the leafless grove, the gale 

Seems to repeat the year's funereal dirge. 
h 2 


Now Autumn sickens on the languid sight, 

And leaves bestrew the wanderer's lonely way, 
Now unto thee, pale arbitress of night, 

With double joy my homage do I pay. 

When clouds disguise the glories of the day, 
And stern November sheds her boisterous blight, 

How doubly sweet to mark the moony ray 
Shoot through the mist from the ethereal height, 

And, still unchanged, back to the memory bring 
The smiles Favonian of life's earliest spring I 


Fast from the West the fading day- streaks fly, 

And ebon Night assumes her solemn sway, 
Yet here alone, unheeding time, I lie, 

And o'er my friend still pour the plaintive lay. 
Oh I 'tis not long since, George, with thee I woo'd 

The maid of musings by yon moaning wave. 
And hail'd the moon's mild beam, which, now renew'd, 

Seems sweetly sleeping on thy silent grave ! 
The busy world pursues its boisterous way, 

The noise of revelry still echoes round, 
Yet I am sad while all beside is gay: 

Yet still I weep o'er thy deserted mound. 
Oh ! that, like thee, I might bid sorrow cease, 
And 'neath the greensward sleep the sleep of peace. 


Misfortune, I am young, my chin is bare, 

And I have wonder'd much, when men have told 

How youth was free from sorrow and from care, 
That thou shouldst dwell with me, and leave the old. 


Sure dost not like me ! Shrivell'd hag of hate, 
My phiz, (and thanks to thee,) is sadly long ; 
I am not either, beldam, over strong ; 
Nor do I wish at all to be thy mate, 
For thou, sweet Fury, art my utter hate. 
Nay, shake not thus thy miserable pate, 
I am yet young, and do not like thy face; 
And, lest thou shouldst resume the wild-goose chase, 
I'll tell thee something all thy heat to assuage, 
— Thou wilt not hit my fancy in my age. 

As thus oppress'd with many a heavy care, 
(Though young, yet sorrowful), I turn my feet 
To the dark woodland, longing much to greet 
The form of Peace, if chance she sojourn there, 
Deep thought and dismal, verging to despair, 

Fills my sad breast ; and, tired with this vain coil, 
I shrink dismay'd before life's upland toil. 
And as amid the leaves the evening air 
Whispers still melody, — I think ere long, 

When I no more can hear, these woods will speak 
And then a sad smile plays upon my cheek, 
And mournful phantasies upon me throng, 
And I do ponder with most strange delight 
On the calm slumbers of the dead man's night. 


Emblem of life ! see changeful April sail 
In varying vest along the shadowy skies, 
Now bidding Summer's softest zephyrs rise, 

Anon, recalling Winter's stormy gale, 
h 3 


And pouring from the cloud her sudden hail; 

Then, smiling through the tear that dims her eyes, 
While Iris with her braid the welkin dyes, 
Promise of sunshine, not so prone to fail. 
So, to us, sojourners in life's low vale, 
The smiles of Fortune flatter to deceive, 
While still the Fates the web of Misery weave ; 
So Hope exultant spreads her aery sail, 
And from the present gloom the soul conveys 
To distant summers and far happier days. 

Ye unseen spirits, whose wild melodies, 
At evening rising slow, yet sweetly clear, 
Steal on the musing poet's pensive ear, 
As by the wood-spring stretch'd supine he lies, 

When he who now invokes you low is laid, 
His tired frame resting on the earth's cold bed, 
Hold ye your nightly vigils o'er his head, 

And chant a dirge to his reposing shade ! 
For he was wont to love your madrigals : 
And often by the haunted stream that laves 
The dark sequester'd woodland's inmost caves, 
Would sit and listen to the dying falls, 
Till the full tear would quiver in his eye, 
And his big heart would heave with mournful ecstacy. 


'Tis midnight — -On the globe dead slumber sits, 
And all is silence — in the hour of sleep; 

Save when the hollow gust, that swells by fits, 
In the dark wood roars fearfully and deep. 


I wake alone to listen and to weep, 

To watch, my taper, thy pale beacon burn ; 
And, as still Memory does her vigils keep, 

To think of days that never can return. 
By thy pale ray I raise my languid head, 

My eye surveys the solitary gloom ; 
And the sad meaning tear, unmix'd with dread, 

Tells thou dost light me to the silent tomb. 
Like thee I wane ;'— like thine my life's last ray 
Will fade in loneliness, unwept, away. 


And canst thou, Mother, for a moment think, 
That we, thy children, when old age shall shed 
Its blanching honours on thy weary head, 

Could from our best of duties ever shrink ? 

Sooner the sun from his bright sphere shall sink, 
Than we, ungrateful, leave thee in that day, 
To pine in solitude thy life away, 

Or shun thee, tottering on the grave's cold brink. 

Banish the thought ! — where'er our steps may roam, 
O'er smiling plains, or wastes without a tree, 
Still will fond memory point our hearts to thee, 

And paint the pleasures of thy peaceful home ; 

While duty bids us all thy griefs assuage, 

And smooth the pillow of thy sinking age. 

Yes, 'twill be over soon.-— This sickly dream 
Of life will vanish from my feverish brain ; 

And death my wearied spirit will redeem 
From this wild region of unvaried pain. 


Yon brook will glide as softly as before, — 

Yon landscape smile, — yon golden harvest grow, — 

Yon sprightly lark on mounting wing will soar 

When Henry's name is heard no more below. 
I sigh when all my youthful friends caress, 

They laugh in health, and future evils brave : 
Them shall a wife and smiling children bless, 

While I am mouldering in my silent grave. 
God of the just — Thou gav'st the bitter cup ; 
I bow to thy behest, and drink it up. 


Gently, most gently, on thy victim's head, 
Consumption, lay thine hand ! — let me decay, 
Like the expiring lamp, unseen, away. 

And softly go to slumber with the dead. 

And if 'tis true, what holy men have said, 
That strains angelic oft foretel the day 
Of death, to those good men who fall thy prey, 

O let the aerial music round my bed, 

Dissolving sad in dying symphony, 

Whisper the solemn warning in mine ear : 

That I may bid my weeping friends good-by 
Ere I depart upon my journey drear : 

And, smiling faintly on the painful past, 

Compose my decent head, and breathe my last. 


Thy judgments, Lord, are just ; thou lov'st to wear 

The face of pity and of love divine ; 
But mine is guilt — thou must not, canst not spare, 

While Heaven is true, and equity is thine. 


Yes, oh my God ! — such crimes as mine, so dread, 

Leave but the choice of punishment to thee ; 
Thy interest calls for judgment on my head, 

And even thy mercy dares not plead for me ! 
Thy will be done — since 'tis thy glory's due, 

Did from mine eyes the endless torrents flow ; 
Smite — it is time — though endless death ensue, 

I bless th' avenging hand that lays me low. 
But on what spot shall fall thine anger's flood, [blood? 
That has not first been drench'd in Christ's atoning 



1 Do I not feel?' The doubt is keen as steel. 
Yea, I do feel — most exquisitely feel ; 
My heart can weep, when from my downcast eye 
I chase the tear, and stem the rising sigh : 
Deep buried there I close the rankling dart, 
And smile the most when heaviest is my heart. 
On this I act — whatever pangs surround, 
'Tis magnanimity to hide the wound I 
When all was new, and life was in its spring, 
I lived, an unloved solitary thing ; 
Even then I learn' d to bury deep from day 
The piercing cares that wore my youth away : 
Even then I learn'd for others' cares to feel : 
Even then I wept I had not power to heal : 
Even then, deep-sounding through the nightly gloom, 
I heard the wretched's groan, and mourn'd the 
wretched's doom. 


Who were my friends in youth? — the midnight fire— 

The silent moon-beam, or the starry choir ; 

To these I 'plained, or turn'd from outer sight, 

To bless my lonely taper's friendly light ; 

I never yet could ask, howe'er forlorn, 

For vulgar pity mix'd with vulgar scorn ; 

The sacred source of woe I never ope, 

My breast's my coffer, and my God's my hope. 

But that I do feel, Time, my friend, will shew, 

Though the cold crowd the secret never know ; 

With them I laugh — yet, when no eye can see, 

I weep for nature, and I weep for thee. 

Yes, thou didst wrong me, * * *; I fondly thought 

In thee I'd. found the friend my heart had sought ! 

I fondly thought, that thou couldst pierce the guise, 

And read the truth that in my bosom lies ; 

I fondly thought, ere Time's last days were gone, 

Thy heart and mine had mingled into one ! 

Yes — and they yet will mingle. Days and years 

Will fly, and leave us partners in our tears : 

We then shall feel that friendship has a power 

To soothe affliction in her darkest hour ; 

Time's trial o'er, shall clasp each other's hand, 

And wait the passport to a better land. 

Thine, H.K.WHITE, 

Half past Eleven o' Clock at Night. 


Yet once more, and once more, awake, my Harp, 
From silence and neglect — one lofty strain, 
Lofty, yet wilder than the winds of Heaven, 
And speaking mysteries more than words can tell, 
I ask for thee, for I, with hymnings high, 


Would join the dirge of the departing year. 
Yet with no wintry garland from the woods, 
Wrought of the leafless branch, or ivy sear, 
Wreathe I thy tresses, dark December ! now ; 
Me higher quarrel calls, with loudest song, 
And fearful joy, to celebrate the day 
Of the Redeemer. — Near two thousand suns 
Have set their seals upon the rolling lapse 
Of generations, since the day-spring first 
Beam'd from on high ! — Now to the mighty mass 
Of that increasing aggregate we add 
One unit more. Space, in comparison, 
How small, yet mark'd with how much misery ; 
Wars, famines, and the fury, Pestilence, 
Over the nations hanging her dread scourge ; 
The oppress'd, too, in silent bitterness, 
Weeping their sufferance : and the arm of wrong, 
Forcing the scanty portion from the weak, 
And steeping the lone widow's couch with tears. 

So has the year been character'd with woe, 
In Christian land, and mark'd with wrongs and crimes : 
Yet 'twas not thus He taught — not thus He lived, 
Whose birth we this day celebrate with prayer 
And much thanksgiving. — He, a man of woes, 
Went on the way appointed, — path, though rude, 
Yet borne with patience still : — He came to cheer 
The broken-hearted, to raise up the sick, 
And on the wandering and benighted mind 
To pour the light of truth. — O task divine ! 
O more than angel teacher ! He had words 
To soothe the barking waves, and hush the winds ; 
And when the soul was toss'd with troubled seas, 
Wrapp'd in thick darkness and the howling storm, 
He, pointing to the star of peace on high, 
Arm'd it with holy fortitude, and bade it smile 


At the surrounding wreck. 

When with deep agony his heart was rack'd, 
Not for himself the tear-drop dew'd his cheek, 
For them He wept, for them to Heaven He pray'd, 
His persecutors — ' Father, pardon them, 
They know not what they do.' 

Angels of Heaven, 
Ye who beheld him fainting on the cross, 
And did him homage, say, may mortal join 
The hallelujahs of the risen God? 
Will the faint voice and grovelling song be heard 
Amid the seraphim in light divine ? 
Yes, He will deign, the Prince of Peace will deign, 
For mercy, to accept the hymn of faith, 
Low though it be and humble. — Lord of life, 
The Christ, the Comforter, thine advent now 
Fills my uprising soul. — I mount, I fly 
Far o'er the skies, beyond the rolling orbs ; 
The bonds of flesh dissolve, ^and earth recedes, 
And care, and pain, and sorrow are no more. 


Yet once again, my Harp, yet once again, 

One ditty more, and on the mountain ash 

I will again suspend thee. I have felt 

The warm tear frequent on my cheek, since last, 

At eventide, when all the winds were hush'd, 

I woke to thee the melancholy song. 

Since then with Thoughtfulness, a maid severe, 

I've journey'd, and have learn'd to shape the freaks 

Of frolic fancy to the line of truth : 

Not unrepining, for my f reward heart 

Still turns to thee, mine Harp, and to the flow 


Of spring- gales past— the woods and storied haunts 
Of my not songless boyhood. — Yet once more, 
Not fearless, I will wake thy tremulous tones, 
My long neglected Harp. — He must not sink ; 
The good, the brave — he must not, shall not sink 
Without the meed of some melodious tear. 

Though from the Muse's chalice I may pour 
No precious dews of Aganippe's well, 
Or Castaly, — though from the morning cloud 
I fetch no hues to scatter on his hearse, 
Yet will I wreathe a garland for his brows, 
Of simple flowers, such as the hedge-rows scent 
Of Britain, my lov'd country ; and with tears 
Most eloquent, yet silent, I will bathe 
Thy honour'd corse, my Nelson, — tears as warm 
And honest as the ebbing blood that flow'd 
Fast from thy honest heart. — Thou, Pity, too, 
If ever I have loved, with faltering step, 
To follow thee in the cold and starless night, 
To the top-crag of some rain-beaten cliff; 
And as I heard the deep gun bursting loud 
Amid the pauses of the storm, have pour'd 
Wild strains, and mournful, to the hurrying winds, 
The dying soul's viaticum ; if oft 
Amid the carnage of the field I've sate 
With thee upon the moonlight throne, and sung 
To cheer the fainting soldier's dying soul, 
With mercy and forgiveness — visitant 
Of Heaven — sit thou upon my harp, 
And give it feeling, which were else too cold 
For argument so great, for theme so high. 
How dimly on that morn the sun arose, 
Kerchief'd in mists, and tearful, when 



In heaven we shall be purified, so as to be able to endure the 
splendours of the Deity. 

Awake, sweet harp of Judah, wake, 
Retune thy strings for Jesus' sake ; 
We sing the Saviour of our race, 
The Lamb, our shield, and hiding-place. 

When God's right arm is bared for war, 
And thunders clothe his cloudy car, 
Where, where, oh where shall man retire, 
T' escape the horrors of his ire ? 

'Tis he, the Lamb, to him we fly, 
While the dread tempest passes by ; 
God sees his Well-beloved's face. 
And spares us in our hiding-place. 

Thus while we dwell in this low scene, 
The Lamb is our unfailing screen ; 
To him, though guilty, still we run, 
And God still spares us for his Son. 

While yet we sojourn here below, 
Pollutions still our hearts o'erflow ; 
Fall'n, abject, mean, a sentenced race, 
We deeply need a hiding-place. 

Yet courage — days and years will glide, 
And we shall lay these clods aside ; 
Shall be baptized in Jordan's flood, 
And wash'd in Jesus' cleansing blood. 

Then pure, immortal, sinless, freed, 
We through the lamb shall be decreed ; 
Shall meet the Father face to face, 
And need no more a hiding-place. 

* The last stanza of this hymn was added extemporaneously, by 



O Lord, another day is flown, 

And we, a lonely band, 
Are met once more before thy throne, 

To bless thy fostering hand. 

And wilt thou bend a listening ear 

To praises low as ours ? 
Thou wilt ! for Thou dost love to hear 

The song which meekness pours. 

And, Jesus, thou thy smiles will deign, 

As we before thee pray ; 
For thou didst bless the infant train, 

And we are less than they. 

O let thy grace perform its part, 

And let contention cease : 
And shed abroad in every heart 

Thiiie everlasting peace ! 

Thus chastened, cleansed, entirely thine, 

A flock by Jesus led ; 
The Sun of Holiness shall shine, 

In glory on our head. 

And thou wilt turn our wandering feet, 

And thou wilt bless our way ; 
Till worlds shall fade, and faith shall greet 

The dawn of lasting day. 

Henry, one summer evening, when he was with a few friends on 
the Trent, and singing it, as he was wont to do on such occasions. 




When marshall'd on the nightly plain, 
The glittering host bestud the sky ; 

One star alone, of all the train, 

Can fix the dinner's wandering eye. 

Hark ! hark ! to God the chorus breaks, 
From every host, from every gem ; 

But one alone the Saviour speaks, 
It is the Star of Bethlehem. 

Once on the raging seas I rode, 

The storm was loud, — the night was dark, 
The ocean yawn'd — and rudely blow'd 

The wind that toss'd my foundering bark. 

Deep horror then my vitals froze, 

Death-struck, I ceas'd the tide to stem ; 

When suddenly a star arose, — 
It was the Star of Bethlehem. 

It was my guide, my light, my all, 

It bade my dark forebodings cease ; 
And through the storm and dangers* thrall, 

It led me to the port of peace. 
Now safely moor'd — my perils o'er, 

I'll sing, first in night's diadem, 
For ever and for evermore, 

The Star!— The Star of Bethlehem! 


O Lord, my God, in mercy turn, 
In mercy hear a sinner mourn ! 
To thee I call, to thee I cry, 
O leave me, leave me not to die ! 


I strove against thee, Lord, I know, 
I spurn'd thy grace, I mock'd thy law ; 
The hour is paft — the day's gone by, 
And I am left alone to die. 

O pleasures past, what are ye now 
But thorns about my bleeding brow ! 
Spectres that hover round my brain, 
And aggravate and mock my pain. 

For pleasure I have given my soul ; 
Now, Justice, let thy thunders roll ! 
Now Vengeance smile — and with a blow, 
Lay the rebellious ingrate low. 

Yet, Jesus, Jesus ! there I'll cling, 
I'll crowd beneath his sheltering wing; 
I'll clasp the cross, and holding there, 
Even me, oh bliss ! his wrath may spare. 


Inserted in a Collection of Selected and Original Songs, published 
by the Rev. J. Plumptre, of Clare Hall, Cambridge. 

Yes, once more that dying strain, 

Anna, touch thy lute for me ; 
Sweet, when Pity's tones complain, 

Doubly sweet is melody. 

While th,e virtues thus enweave 

Mildly soft the thrilling song, 
Winter's long and lonesome, eve 

Glides unfelt, unseen, along. 

Thus when life hath stolen away, 

And the wintry night is near, 
Thus shall Virtue's friendly ray 

Age's closing evening cheer, 
i 3 



A lady of Cambridge lent Waller's Poems to Heniy, and when he 
returned them to her, she discovered an additional Stanza written 
by him at the bottom of the Song here copied. 

Go, lovely rose ! 
Tell her, that wastes her time on me, 

That now she knows, 
When I resemble her to thee, 
How sweet and fair she seems to be. 

Tell her that's young, 
And shuns to have her graces spied, 

That hadst thou sprung 
In deserts where no men abide, 
Thou must have uncommended died. 

Small is the worth 
Of beauty from the light retired ; 

Bid her come forth, 
Suffer herself to be desired, 
And not blush so to be admired. 

Then die, that she 
The common fate of all things rare 

May read in thee ; 
How small a part of time they share, 
That are so wondrous sweet and fair. 

[Yet, though thou fade, 
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise ; 

And teach the Maid 
That Goodness Time's rude hand defies : 
That Virtue lives when Beauty dies. 

H. K. White.] 



When twilight steals along the ground, 
And all the bells are ringing round, 

One, two, three, four and five, 
I at my study-window sit, 
And, wrapp'd in many a musing fit, 

To bliss am all alive. 

But though impressions calm and sweet 
Thrill round my heart a holy heat, 

And I am inly glad, 
The tear-drop stands in either eye, 
And yet I cannot tell thee why, 

I 'm pleased, and yet I'm sad. 

The silvery rack that flies away 
Like mortal life or pleasure's ray, 

Does that disturb my breast ? 
Nay, what have I, a studious man, 
To do with life's unstable plan, 

Or pleasure's fading vest ? 

Is it that here I must not stop, 
But o'er yon blue hill's woody top 

Must bend my lonely way ? 
No, surely no ! for give but me 
My own fire-side, and I shall be 

At home where'er I stray. 

Then is it that yon steeple there, 
With music sweet shall fill the air, 

When thou no more canst hear ? 
Oh, no ! oh, no ! for then forgiven 
I shall be with my God in heaven, 

Releas'd from every fear. 


Then whence it is I cannot tell, 
But there is some mysterious spell 

That holds me when I'm glad ; 
And so the tear-drop fills my eye, 
When yet in truth I know not why, 

Or wherefore I am sad. 


It is not that my lot is low, 
That bids this silent tear to flow : 
It is not grief that bids me moan, 
It is that I am all alone. 

In woods and glens I love to roam, 
When the tired hedger hies him home ; 
Or by the woodland pool to rest, 
When pale the star looks on its breast. 

Yet when the silent evening sighs, 
With hallow'd airs and symphonies, 
My spirit takes another tone, 
And sighs that it is all alone. 

The autumn leaf is sear and dead, 
It floats upon the water's bed ; 
I would not be a leaf, to die 
Without recording sorrow's sigh ! 

The woods and winds with sudden wail, 
Tell all the same unvaried tale ; 
I've none to smile when I am free, 
And when I sigh, to sigh with me. 

Yet in my dreams a form I view, 
That thinks on me, and loves me too ; 
I start, and when the vision's flown, 
I weep that I am all alone. 


If far from me the Fates remove 
Domestic peace, connubial love, 
The prattling ring, the social cheer, 
Affection's voice, affection's tear, 
Ye sterner powers, that bind the heart, 
To me your iron aid impart ! 

teach me, when the nights are chill, 
And my fire-side is lone and still ; 
When to the blaze that crackles near, 

1 turn a tired and pensive ear, 

And Nature conquering bids me sigh, 
For love's soft accents whispering nigh; 

teach me, on that heavenly road, 
That leads to Truth's occult abode, 
To wrap my soul in dreams divine, 
Till earth and care no more be mine. 
Let bless'd Philosophy impart 

Her soothing measures to my heart ; 
And while with Plato's ravish'd ears 

1 list the music of the spheres, 
Or on the mystic symbols pore, 
That hide the Chald's sublimer lore, 
I shall not brood on summers gone, 
Nor think that I am all alone. 

Fanny ! upon thy breast I may not lie ! 

Fanny ! thou dost not hear me when I speak! 
Where art thou, love? — Around I turn my eye, 

And as I turn, the tear is on my cheek. 
Was it a dream 1 or did my love behold 

Indeed my lonely couch ? — Methought the breath 
Fann'd not her bloodless lip ; her eye was cold 

And hollow, and the livery of death 


Invested her pale forehead. — Sainted maid ! 

My thoughts oft rest with thee in thy cold grave, 
Through the long wintry night, when wind and wave 

Rock the dark house where thy poor head is laid. 

Yet, hush ! my fond heart, hush ! there is a shore 
Of better promise ; and I know at last, 
When the long sabbath of the tomb is past, 

We two shall meet in Christ — to part no more. 


These Fragments are Henry's latest composition ; and were, for the 
most part, written upon the back of his mathematical papers, 
during the few moments of the last year of his life, in which he 
suffered himself to follow the impulse of his genius. 

' Saw'st thou that light?' exclaim'd the youth, and 

paus'd : 
' Through yon dark firs it glanced, and on the stream 
That skirts the woods it for a moment play'd. 
Again, more light it gleam'd ; — or does some sprite 
Delude mine eyes with shapes of wood and streams, 
And lamp, far-beaming through the thicket's gloom, 
As from some bosom'd cabin, where the voice 
Of revelry, or thrifty watchfulness, 
Keeps in the lights at this unwonted hour ? 
No sprite deludes mine eyes, — the beam now glows 
With steady lustre. — Can it be the moon, 
Who, hidden long by the invidious veil 
That blots the heavens, now sets behind the woods V 
1 No moon to-night has look'd upon the sea 
Of clouds beneath her/ answer'd Rudiger, 
' She has been sleeping with Endymion.' 
* * * * 


The pious man, 
In this bad world, when mists and couchant storms 
Hide Heaven's fine circlet, springs aloft in faith 
Above the clouds that threat him, to the fields 
Of ether, where the day is never veil'd 
With intervening vapours ; and looks down 
Serene upon the troublous sea, that hides 
The earth's fair breast, that sea whose nether face 
To grovelling mortals frowns and darkness" all ; 
But on whose billowy back, from man conceal'd, 
The glaring sunbeam plays. 

Lo ! on the eastern summit, clad in gray, 
Morn, like a horseman girt for travel comes, 
And from his tower of mist, 
Night's watchman hurries down. 

There was a little bird upon that pile ; 

It perch'd upon a ruin'd pinnacle, 

And made sweet melody. 

The song was soft, yet cheerful, and most clear, 

For other note none swell'd the air but his. 

It seem'd as if the little chorister, 

Sole tenant of the melancholy pile, 

Were a lone hermit, outcast from his kind, 

Yet withal cheerful. — 1 have heard the note 

Echoing so lonely o'er the aisle forlorn, 

Much musing — 

O pale art thou, my lamp, and faint 

Thy melancholy ray, 
When the still night's unclouded saint 

Is walking on her way. 


Through my lattice leaf embower'd, 

Fair she sheds her shadowy beam, 

And o'er my silent sacred room, 

Casts a checker'd twilight gloom ; 

I throw aside the learned sheet, 
I cannot choose but gaze, she looks so mildly sweet. 
Sad vestal, why art thou so fair, 
Or why am 1 so frail ? 
Methinks thou lookest kindly on me, Moon, 

And cheerest my lone hours with sweet regards ; 
Surely like me thou'rt sad, but dost not speak 

Thy sadness to the cold unheeding crowd ; 
So mournfully composed, o'er yonder cloud 
Thou shinest, like a cresset, beaming far 
From the rude watch-tower, o'er the Atlantic wave. 

O give me music — for my soul doth faint ; 

I 'm sick of noise and care ; and now mine ear 
Longs for some air of peace, some dying plaint, 

That may the spirit from its cell unsphere. 
Hark how it falls ! and now it steals along, 

Like distant bells upon the lake at eve, 
When all is still; and now it grows more strong, 

As when the choral train their dirges weave, 
Mellow and many-voiced ; where every close, 

O'er the old minster roof, in echoing waves reflows. 
Oh ! I am rapt aloft. My spirit soars 

Beyond the skies, and leaves the stars behind. 
Lo! angels lead me to the happy shores, 

And floating paeans fill the buoyant wind. - 
Farewell ! base earth, farewell ! my soul is freed, 
Far from its clayey cell it springs, — 



Ah ! who can say, however fair his view, 

Through what sad scenes his path may lie ? 

Ah ! who can give to others' woes his sigh, 
Secure his own will never need it too? 
Let thoughtless youth its seeming joys pursue, 

Soon will they learn to scan with thoughtful eye 

The illusive past and dark futurity ; 
Soon will they know — 

And must thou go, and must we part ? 

Yes, Fate decrees, and I submit ; 
The pang that rends in twain my heart, 

Oh, Fanny, dost thou share in it ? 

Thy sex is fickle, — when away, 

Some happier youth may win thy — 

# * ■* * 


When I sit musing on the checker'd past, 
(A term much darken'd with untimely woes), 
My thoughts revert to her, for whom still flows 
The tear, though half disown'd ; — and binding fast 
Pride's stubborn cheat to my too yielding heart, 
I say to her she robb'd me of my rest, 
When that was all my wealth. — 'Tis true my breast 
Received from her this wearying, lingering smart, 
Yet, ah ! I cannot bid her form depart; 

Though wrong' d, I love her — yet in anger love, 
For 'she was most unworthy. — Then I prove 
Vindictive joy ; and on my stern front gleams, 
Throned in dark clouds, inflexible * * * 
The native pride of my much injured heart. 


When high romance o'er every wood and stream 

Dark lustre shed, my infant mind to fire, 
Spell-struck, and fill'd with many a wondering dream, 

First in the groves I woke the pensive lyre ; 
All there was mystery then, the gust that woke 

The midnight echo with a spirit's dirge, 
And unseen fairies would the moon invoke, 

To their light morrice by the restless surge. 
Now to my sober'd thought with life's false smiles, 

Too much * * 
The vagrant fancy spreads no more her wiles, 

And dark forebodings now my bosom fill. 

Hush'd is the lyre — the hand that swept 

The low and pensive wires, 

Robb'd of its cunning, from the task retires. 
Yes — it is still — the lyre is still ; 

The spirit which its slumbers broke 

Hath passed away, — and that weak hand that woke 
Its forest melodies hath lost its skill. 
Yet I would press you to my lips once more, 

Ye wild, ye withering flowers of poesy ; 
Yet would I drink the fragrance which ye pour, 

Mix'd with decaying odours ; for to me 
Ye have beguiled the hours of infancy, 

As in the wood-paths of my native — 

• -*■••■•'* 

Onck more, and yet once more, 

I give unto my harp a dark- woven lay ; 

I heard the waters roar, 

I heard the flood of ages pass away. 


O thou, stern spirit, who dost dwell 

In thine eternal cell, 
Noting, gray chronicler ! the silent years ; 

I saw thee rise, I saw the scroll complete, 

Thou spakest, and at thy feet 
The universe gave way. 


This poem was begun either during the publication of Clifton Grove, 
or shortly afterward. Henry never laid aside the intention of 
completing it, and some of the detached parts were among his 
latest productions. 

Genius of musings, who, the midnight hour 

Wasting in woods or haunted forests wild, 

Dost watch Orion in his arctic tower, 

Thy dark eye fix'd as in some holy trance ; 

Or when the volley'd lightnings cleave the air, 

And ruin gaunt bestrides the winged storm, 

Sitt'st in some lonely watch-tower, where thy lamp, 

Faint-blazing, strikes the fisher's eye from far, 

And, 'mid the howl of elements, unmoved 

Dost ponder on the awful scene, and trace 

The vast effect to its superior source, — 

Spirit, attend my lowly benison ! 

For now I strike to themes of import high 

The solitary lyre ; and, borne by thee 

Above this narrow cell, I celebrate 

The mysteries of Time ! 

Him who, august, 

Was ere these worlds were fashioned, — ere the sun 

Sprang from the east, or Lucifer display'd 

His glowing cresset in the arch of morn, 

Or Vesper gilded the serener eve. 

Yea, He had been for an eternity ! 
k 2 


Had swept unvarying from eternity ! 

The harp of desolation — ere his tones, 

At God's command, assumed a milder strain, 

And startled on his watch, in the vast deep, 

Chaos' sluggish sentry, and evoked 

From the dark void the smiling universe. 

Chain'd to the grovelling frailties of the flesh, 
Mere mortal man, unpurg'd from earthly dross, 
Cannot survey, with fix'd and steady eye, 
The dim uncertain gulf, which now the muse, 
Adventurous, would explore: — but dizzy grown, 
He topples down the abyss. — If he would scan 
The fearful chasm, and catch a transient glimpse 
Of its unfathomable depths, that so 
His mind may turn with double joy to God, 
His only certainty and resting-place; 
He must put off awhile this mortal vest, 
And learn to follow, without giddiness, 
To heights where all is vision, and surprise, 
And vague conjecture. — He must waste by night 
The studious taper, far from all resort 
Of crowds and folly, in some still retreat; 
High on the beetling promontory's crest, 
Or in the caves of the vast wilderness, 
Where, compass'd round with Nature's wildest shapes, 
He maybe driven to centre all his thoughts 
In the Great Architect, who lives confess'd 
In rocks, and seas, and solitary wastes. 

So has divine Philosophy, with voice 
Mild as the murmurs of the moonlight wave, 
Tutor'd the heart of him, who now awakes, 
Touching the chords of solemn minstrelsy,. 
His faint, neglected song — intent to snatch 
Some vagrant blossom from the dangerous steep 


Of poesy, abloom of such a hue, 

So sober, as may not unseemly suit 

With Truth's severer brow ; and one withal 

So hardy as shall brave the passing wind 

Of many winters, — rearing its meek head 

In loveliness, when he who gather'd it 

Is number'd with the generations gone. 

Yet not to me hath God's good providence 

Given studious leisure,* or unbroken thought, 

Such as he owns, — a meditative man, 

Who from the blush of morn to quiet eve 

Ponders, or turns the page of wisdom o'er,. 

Far from the busy crowd's tumultuous din, 

From noise and wrangling far, and undisturb'd 

With Mirth's unholy shouts. For me the day 

Hath duties which require the vigorous hand 

Of steadfast application, but which leave 

No deep improving trace upon the mind. 

But be the day another's ; — let it pass! 

The night's my own — They cannot steal my night ! 

When evening lights her folding-star on high, 

I live and breathe, and in the sacred hours 

Of quiet, and repose, my spirit flies, 

Free as the morning, o'er the realms of space, 

And mounts the skies, and imps her wing for Heaven. 

Hence do I love the sober-suited maid ; 
Hence night's my friend, my mistress, and my theme, 
And she shall aid me now to magnify 
The night of ages, — now, when the pale ray 
Of star-light penetrates the studious gloom, 
And, at my window seated, while mankind 
Are lock'd in sleep, I feel the freshening breeze 
Of stillness blow, while, in her saddest stole,. 
The author was then in an attorney's office. 
K 3 


Thought, like a wakeful vestal at her shrine, 
Assumes her wonted sway. 

Behold the world 
Rests, and her tired inhabitants have paused 
From trouble and turmoil. The widow now 
Has ceased to weep, and her twin orphans lie 
Lock'd in each arm, partakers of her rest. 
The man of sorrow has forgot his woes : 
The outcast that his head is shelterless, 
His griefs unshared. — The mother tends no more 
Her daughters dying^ slumbers, but, surprised 
With heaviness, and sunk upon her couch, 
Dreams of her bridals. Even the hectic, lull'd 
On death's lean arm to rest, in visions wrapp'd, [nurse, 
Crowning with Hope's bland wreath his shuddering 
Poor victim! smiles. — -Silence and deep repose 
Reign o'er the nations ; and the warning voice 
Of Nature utters audibly within 
The general moral : — tells us that repose, 
Deathlike as this, but of far longer span, 
Is coming on us — that the weary crowds, 
Who now enjoy a temporary calm, 
Shall soon taste lasting quiet, wrapp'd around 
With grave-clothes ; and their acting restless heads 
Mouldering in holes and corners unobserved, 
Till the last trump shall break their sullen sleep. 

Who needs a teacher to admonish him 
That flesh is grass, that earthly things are mist? 
What are our joys but dreams? and what our hopes 
But goodly shadows in the summer cloud ? 
There's not a wind that blows but bears with it 
Some rainbow promise : — not a moment flies 
But puts its sickle in the fields of life, 
And mows its thousands, with their joys and cares. 


? Tis but as yesterday, since on yon stars, 
Which now I view, the Chaldee Shepherd* gazed 
In his mid-watch observant, and disposed 
The twinkling hosts as fancy gave them shape. 
Yet in the interim what mighty shocks 
Have buffeted mankind ! — whole nations raz'd— 
Cities made desolate,. — the polish' d sunk 
To barbarism, and once barbaric states 
Swaying the wand of science and of arts ; 
Illustrious deeds and memorable names 
Blotted from record, and upon the tongue 
Of gray Tradition voluble no more. 

Where are the heroes of the ages past? 
Where the brave chieftains, where the mighty ones 
Who flourish'd in the infancy of days ? 
All to the grave gone down. On their fallen fame 
Exultant, mocking at the pride of man, 
Sits grim Forgetfulness. — The warrior's arm 
Lies nerveless on the pillow of its shame ; 
Hush'd is his stormy voice, and quench'd the blaze 
Of his red eye-ball. — Yesterday his name 
Was mighty on the earth — To-day — 'tis what? 
The meteor of the night of distant years, 
That flash'd unnoticed, save by wrinkled eld, 
Musing at midnight upon prophecies, 
Who at her lonely lattice saw the gleam 
Point to the mist-poised shroud, then quietly 
Clos'd her pale lips, and lock'd the secret up 
Safe in the enamel's treasures. 

O how weak 
Is mortal man ! how trifling — how confined 
His scope of vision ! PufF'd with confidence, 

* Alluding to the first astronomical observations made by the 
Chaldean shepherds. 


His phrase grows big with immortality, 

And he, poor insect of a summer's day! 

Dreams of eternal honours to his name ; 

Of endless glory and perennial bays. 

He idly reasons of eternity, 

As of the train of ages, — when, alas ! 

Ten thousand thousand of his centuries 

Are, in comparison, a little point 

Too trivial for accompt. — 0,it is strange, 

'Tis passing strange, to mark his fallacies ; 

Behold him proudly view some pompous pile, 

Whose high dome swells to emulate the skies, 

And smile, and say, my name shall live with this 

Till Time shall be no more; while at his feet, 

Yea, at his very feet, the crumbling dust 

Of the fallen fabric of the other day 

Preaches the solemn lesson. He should know 

That Time must conquer ; that the loudest blast 

That ever fill'd Renown's obstreperous trump 

Fades in the lapse of ages, and expires. 

Who lies inhumed in the terrific gloom 

Of the gigantic pyramid? or who 

Rear'd its huge walls ? Oblivion laughs, and says, 

The prey is mine. — They sleep, and never more 

Their names shall strike upon the ear of man ; — 

Their memory bursts its fetters. 

Where is Rome ? 
She lives but in the tale of other times ; 
Her proud pavilions are the hermit's home, 
And her long colonnades, her public walks, 
Now faintly echo to the pilgrim's feet, 
Who comes to muse in solitude, and trace, 
Through the rank mossreveal'd, her honour'd dust. 
But not to Rome alone has fate confined 


The doom of ruin ; cities numberless, 
Tyre, Sidon, Carthage, Babylon, and Troy, 
And rich Phoenicia — they are blotted out, 
Half-razed from memory, and their very name 
And being in dispute. — Has Athens fallen? 
Is polish'd Greece become the savage seat 
Of ignorance and sloth ? and shall we dare 

* * * * 

* * * * 

And empire seeks another hemisphere. 
Where now is Britain? — Where her laurell'd names. 
Her palaces and halls ? Dash'd in the dust, 
Some second Vandal hath reduced her pride, 
And with one big recoil hath thrown her back 

To primitive barbarity. Again, 

Through her depopulated vales, the scream 

Of bloody Superstition hollow rings, 

And the scared native of the tempest howls 

The yell of deprecation. O'er her marts, 

Her crowded ports, broods Silence ; and the cry 

Of the low curlew, and the pensive dash 

Of distant billows, breaks alone the void. 

Even as the savage sits upon the stone 

That marks where stood her capitols, and hears 

The bittern booming in the weeds, he shrinks 

From the dismaying solitude. — Her bards 

Sing in a language that hath perished; 

And their wild harps suspended o'er their graves, 

Sigh to the desert winds a dying strain. 

Meanwhile the Arts, in second infancy, 
Rise in some distant clime, and then, perchance, 
Some bold adventurer, fill'd with golden dreams, 


Steering his bark through trackless solitudes, 

Where, to his wandering thoughts, no daring prow 

Hath ever ploughed before, — espies the cliffs 

Of fallen Albion. — To the land unknown 

He journeys joyful ; and perhaps descries 

Some vestige of her ancient stateliness : 

Then he, with vain conjecture, fills his mind 

Of the unheard-of race, which had arrived 

At science in that solitary nook, 

Far from the civil world; and sagely sighs, 

And moralizes on the state of man. 

Still on its march, unnoticed and unfelt, 
Moves on our being. We do live and breathe, 
And we are gone. The spoiler heeds us not. 
We have our spring-time and our rottenness ; 
And as we fall, another race succeeds, 
To perish likewise. Meanwhile Nature smiles — 
The seasons run their round — The Sun fulfils 
His annual course — and heaven and earth remain 
Still changing, yet unchanged — still doom'd to feel 
Endless mutation in perpetual rest. 
Where are concealed the days which have elapsed? 
Hid in the mighty cavern of the past, 
They rise upon us only to appal, 
By indistinct and half-glimpsed images, 
Misty, gigantic, huge, obscure, remote. 

Oh, it is fearful, on the midnight couch, 
When the rude rushing winds forget to rave, 
And the pale moon, that through the casement high 
Surveys the sleepless muser, stamps the hour 
Of utter silence ; it is fearful then 
To steer the mind, in deadly solitude, 
Up the vague stream of probability ; 
To wind the mighty secrets of the past, 


And turn the key of Time! Oh! who can strive 

To comprehend the vast, the awful truth, 

Of the eternity thai hath gone by t 

And not recoil from the dismaying sense 

Of human impotence? The life of man 

Is summ'd in birth-days and in sepulchres : 

But the Eternal God had no beginning ; 

He hath no end. Time had been with him 

For everlasting, ere the daedal world 

Rose from the gulf in loveliness. — Like him 

It knew no source ; like him 'twas uncreate. 

What is it then? the past Eternity! 

We comprehend a future without end ; 

We feel it possible that even yon sun 

May roll for ever : but we shrink amazed — 

We stand aghast, when we reflect that Time 

Knew no commencement. That heap age on age, 

And million upon million, without end, 

And we shall never span the void of days 

That were, and are not but in retrospect. 

The Past is an unfathomable depth, 

Beyond the span of thought : 'tis an elapse 

Which hath no mensuration, but hath been 

For ever and for ever. 

Change of days 
To us is sensible; and each revolve 
Of the recording sun conducts us on 
Farther in life, and nearer to our goal. 
Not so with Time, — mysterious chronicler ! 
He knoweth not mutation ; — centuries 
Are to his being as a clay, and days 
As centuries. — Time past, and Time to come, 
Are always equal ; when the world began 
God had existed from eternity. 


Now look on man 
Myriads of ages hence. — Hath time elapsed? 
Is he not standing in the self-same place 
Where once we stood ? — The same eternity- 
Hath gone before him, and is yet to come ; 
His past is not of longer span than ours, 
Though myriads of ages intervened ; 
For who can add to what has neither sum, 
Nor bound, nor source, nor estimate, nor end? 
Oh, who can compass the Almighty mind ? 
Who can unlock the secrets of the High ? 
In speculations of an altitude 
Sublime as this, our reason stands confess'd 
Foolish, and insignificant, and mean. 
Who can apply the futile argument 
Of finite beings to infinity? 
He might as well compress the universe 
Into the hollow compass of a gourd, 
Scoop'd out by human art ; or bid the whale 
Drink up the sea it swims in. — Can the less 
Contain the greater? or the dark obscure 
Infold the glories of meridian day ? 
What does Philosophy impart to man 
But undiscover'd wonders ? — Let her soar 
Even to her proudest heights — to where she caught 
The soul of Newton and of Socrates, 
She but extends the scope of wild amaze 
And admiration. All her lessons end 
In wider views of God's unfathom'd depths. 
Lo ! the unlettered hind, who never knew 
To raise his mind excursive to the heights 
Of abstract contemplation, as he sits 
On the green hillock by the hedge-row side, 
What time the insect swarms are murmuring, 
And marks m silent thought, the broken clouds 


That fringe with loveliest hues the evening sky, 

Feels in his soul the hand of Nature rouse 

The thrill of gratitude to him who form'd 

The goodly prospect; he beholds the God 

Throned in the west, and his reposing ear 

Hears sounds angelic in the fitful breeze 

That floats through neighbouring copse or fairy brake, 

Or lingers playful on the haunted stream. 

Go with the cotter to his winter fire, 

Where o'er the moors the loud blast whistles shrill, 

And the hoarse ban-dog bays the icy moon ; 

Mark with what awe he lists the wild uproar, 

Silent, and big with thought ; and hear him bless 

The God that rides on the tempestuous clouds 

For his snug hearth, and all his little joys : 

Hear him compare his happier lot with his 

Who bends his way across the wintry wolds, 

A poor night-traveller, while the dismal snow 

Beats in his face, and, dubious of his path, 

He stops, and thinks, in every lengthening blast, 

He hears some village mastiff's distant howl, 

And sees, far-streaming, some lone cottage light ; 

Then, undeceived, upturns his streaming eyes, 

And clasps his shivering hands ; or, overpower'd, 

Sinks on the frozen ground, weigh'd down with sleep, 

From which the hapless wretch shall never wake. 

Thus the poor rustic warms his heart with praise 

And glowing gratitude, — he turns to bless, 

With honest warmth, his Maker and his God ! 

And shall it e'er be said, that a poor hind, 

Nursed in the lap of Ignorance, and bred 

In want and labour, glows with nobler zeal 

To laud his Maker's attributes; while he 

Whom starry Science in her cradle rock'd, 



And Castaly enchasten'd with its dews. 

Closes his eyes upon the holy word, 

And, blind to all but arrogance and pride, 

Dares to declare his infidelity, 

And openly contemn the Lord of Hosts? 

What is philosophy, if it impart 

Irreverence for the Deity, or teach 

A mortal man to set his judgment up 

Against his Maker's will? — The Polygar, 

Who kneels to sun or moon, compared with him 

Who thus perverts the talents he enjoys, 

Is the most bless'd of men ! — Oh ! I would walk 

A weary journey to the farthest verge 

Of the big world, to kiss that good man's hand, 

Who, in the blaze of wisdom and of art, 

Preserves a lowly mind ; and to his God, 

Feeling the sense of his own littleness, 

Is as a child in meek simplicity ! 

What is the pomp of learning ? the parade 

Of letters and of tongues ? Even as the mists 

Of the gray morn before the rising sun, 

That pass away and perish. 

Earthly things 
Are but the transient pageants of an hour ; 
And earthly pride is like the passing flower, 
That springs to fall, and blossoms but to die. 
'Tis as the tower erected on a cloud, 
Baseless and silly as the schoolboy's dream. 
Ages and epochs that destroy our pride, 
And then record its downfal, what are they 
But the poor creatures of man's teeming brain ! 
Hath Heaven its ages ? or doth Heaven preserve 
Its stated eras % Doth the Omnipotent 
Hear of to-morrows or of yesterdays ? 


There is to God nor future nor a past ; 
Throned in his might, all times to him are present ; 
He hath no lapse, no past, no time to come ; 
He sees before him one eternal now. 
Time moveth not! — our being 'tis that moves : 
And we, swift gliding down life's rapid stream, 
Dream of swift ages and revolving years, 
Ordain'd to chronicle our passing days ; 
So the young sailor in the gallant bark, 
Scudding before the wind, beholds the coast 
Receding from his eyes, and thinks the while, 
Struck with amaze, that he is motionless, 
And that the land is sailing. 

Such, alas! 
Are the illusions of this Proteus life ; 
All, all is false : through every phasis still 
'Tis shadowy and deceitful. It assumes 
The semblances of things and specious shapes ; 
But the lost traveller might as soon rely 
On the evasive spirit of the marsh, 
Whose lantern beams, and vanishes, and flits, 
O'er bog, and rock, and pit, and hollow way, 
As we on its appearances. 

On earth 
There is nor certainty nor stable hope. 
As well the weary mariner, whose bark 
Is toss'd beyond Cimmerian Bosphorus, 
Where Storm and Darkness hold their drear domain, 
And sunbeams never penetrate, might trust 
To expectation of serener skies, 
And linger in the very jaws of death, 
Because some peevish cloud were opening, 
Or the loud storm had bated in its rage : 
As we look forward in this vale of tears 
l 2 



To permanent delight — from some slight glimpse 
Of shadowy unsubstantial happiness. 

The good man's hope is laid far, far beyond 
The sway of tempests, or the furious sweep 
Of mortal desolation. — He beholds, 
Unapprehensive, the gigantic stride 
Of rampant Ruin, or the unstable waves 
Of dark Vicissitude. — Even in death, 
In that dread hour, when with a giant pang, 
Tearing the tender fibres of the heart, 
The immortal spirit struggles to be free, 
Then, even then, that hope forsakes him not, 
For it exists beyond the narrow verge 
Of the cold sepulchre. — The petty joys 
Of fleeting life indignantly it spurn'd, 
And rested on the bosom of its God. 
This is man's only reasonable hope ; 
And 'tis a hope which, cherish'd in the breast, 
Shall not be disappointed. — Even he, 
The Holy One — Almighty — who elanced 
The rolling world along its airy way, 
Even He will deign to smile upon the good, 
And welcome him to those celestial seats, 
Where joy and gladness hold their changeless reign. 
Thou, proud man, look upon yon starry vault, 
Survey the countless gems which richly stud 
The Night's imperial chariot ; — Telescopes 
Will shew thee myriads more innumerous 
Than the sea sand ; — each of those little lamps 
Is the great source of light, the central sun 
Round which some other mighty sisterhood 
Of planets travel, every planet stock'd 
With living beings impotent as thee. 
Now, proud man ! now, where is thy greatness fled? 


What art thou in the scale of universe ? 
Less, less than nothing ! — Yet of thee the God 
Who built this wondrous frame of worlds is careful, 
As well as of the mendicant who begs 
The leavings of thy table. And shalt thou 
Lift up thy thankless spirit, and contemn 
His heavenly providence ! Deluded fool, 
Even now the thunderbolt is wing'd with death, 
Even now thou totterest on the brink of hell. 

How insignificant is mortal man, 
Bound to the hasty pinions of an hour; 
How poor, how trivial in the vast conceit 
Of infinite duration, boundless space ! 
God of the universe! Almighty one! 
Thou who dost walk upon the winged winds, 
Or with the storm, thy rugged charioteer, 
Swift and impetuous as the northern blast, 
Ridest from pole to pole ; Thou who dost hold 
The forked lightnings in thine awful grasp, 
And reinest in the earthquake, when thy wrath 
Goes down towards erring man, I would address 
To Thee my parting psean ; for of Thee, 
Great beyond comprehension, who thyself 
Art Time and Space, sublime Infinitude, 
Of Thee has been my song — With awe I kneel 
Trembling before the footstool of thy state, 
My God ! my Father ! — I will sing to Thee 
A hymn of laud, a solemn canticle, 
Ere on the cypress wreath, which overshades 
The throne of Death, I hang my mournful lyre, 
And give its wild strings to the desert gale. 
Rise, Son of Salem ! rise, and join the strain, 
Sweep to accordant tones thy tuneful harp, 
And leaving vain laments, arouse thy soul 
l 3 


To exultation. Sing hosanna, sing, 

And hallelujah, for the Lord is great 

And full of mercy ! He has thought of man : 

Yea, compass'd round with countless worlds, has 

Of we poor worms, that batten in the dews [thought 

Of morn, and perish ere the noon-day sun. 

Sing to the Lord, for he is merciful : 

He gave the Nubian lion but to live, 

To rage its hour, and perish ; but on man 

He lavish'd immortality, and heaven. 

The eagle falls from her aerial tower, 

And mingles with irrevocable dust : 

But man from death springs joyful, 

Springs up to life and to eternity. 

Oh, that, insensate of the favouring boon, 

The great exclusive privilege bestow'd 

On us unworthy trifles, men should dare 

To treat with slight regard the profFer'd heaven, 

And urge the lenient, but All-Just, to swear 

In wrath, ■ They shall not enter in my rest V 

Might I address the supplicative strain 

To thy high footstool, I would pray that thou 

Wouldst pity the deluded wanderers, 

And fold them, ere they perish, in thy flock. 

Yea, I would bid thee pity them, through Him, 

Thy well-beloved, who, upon the cross, 

Bled a dead sacrifice for human sin, 

And paid, with bitter agony, the debt 

Of primitive transgression. 

Oh ! I shrink, 
My very soul doth shrink, when I reflect 
That the time hastens, when in vengeance clothed, 
Thou shalt come down to stamp the seal of fate 
On erring mortal man. Thy chariot wheels 


Then shall rebound to earth's remotest caves, 

And stormy Ocean from his bed shall start 

At the appalling summons. Oh! how dread, 

On the dark eye of miserable man, 

Chasing his sins in secrecy and gloom, 

Will burst the effulgence of the opening Heaven ; 

When to the brazen trumpet's deafening roar, 

Thou and thy dazzling cohorts shall descend, 

Proclaiming the fulfilment of the word ! 

The dead shall start astonished from their sleep ! 

The sepulchres shall groan and yield their prey, 

The bellowing floods shall disembogue their charge 

Of human victims. — From the farthest nook 

Of the wide world shall troop their risen souls, 

From him whose bones are bleaching in the waste 

Of polar solitudes, or him whose corpse, 

Whelm'd in the loud Atlantic's vexed tides, 

Is wash'd on some Carribean prominence, 

To the lone tenant of some secret cell 

In the Pacific's vast * * * realm, 

Where never plummet's sound was heard to part 

The wilderness of water; they shall come 

To greet the solemn advent of the Judge. 

Thou first shalt summon the elected saints, 

To their apportion'd heaven ! and thy Son, 

At thy right hand, shall smile with conscious joy 

On all his past distresses, when for them 

He bore humanity's severest pangs. 

Then shalt thou seize the avenging scimitar, 
And, with a roar as loud and horrible 
As the stern earthquake's monitory voice, 
The wicked shall be driven to their abode, 
Down the immitigable gulf, to wail 
And gnash their teeth in endless agony. 



Rear thou aloft thy standard. — Spirit, rear 

Thy flag on high ! — Invincible, and throned 

In unparticipated might. Behold 

Earth's proudest boasts, beneath thy silent sway, 

Sweep headlong to destruction; thou the while, 

Unmoved and heedless, thou dost hear the rush 

Of mighty generations, as they pass 

To the broad gulf of ruin, and dost stamp 

Thy signet on them, and they rise no more. 

Who shall contend with Time — unvanquish'd Time, 

The conqueror of conquerors, and lord 

Of desolation 1 — Lo ! the shadows fly, 

The hours and days, and years and centuries, 

They fly, they fly, and nations rise and fall ; 

The young are old, the old are in their graves. 

Heard'st thou that shout? It rent the vaulted skies % 

It was the voice of people, — mighty crowds, — 

Again ! — 'tis hush'd — Time speaks, and all is hush'd ; 

In the vast multitude now reigns alone 

Unruffled solitude. They all are still ; 

All — yea, the whole — the incalculable mass, 

Still as the ground that clasps their cold remains. 

Rear thou aloft thy standard. — Spirit, rear 
Thy flag on high ! and glory in thy strength. 
But do thou know the season yet shall come, 
When from its base thine adamantine throne 
Shall tumble ; when thine arm shall cease to strike, 
Thy voice forget its petrifying power; 
When saints shall shout, and Time shall be no more. 
Yea, he doth come — the mighty champion comes, 
Whose potent spear shall give thee thy death-wound,' 
Shall crush the conqueror of conquerors, 
And desolate stern Desolation's lord. 


Lo ! where he cometh ! the Messiah comes ! 

The King ! the Comforter ! the Christ ! — He comes 

To burst the bonds of death, and overturn 

The power of Time. — Hark ! the trumpet's blast 

Rings o'er the heavens ! They rise, the myriads rise — ■ 

Even from their graves they spring, and burst the chains 

Of torpor — He has ransom'd them, * * * 

Forgotten generations live again, 
Assume the bodily shapes they own'd of old, 
Beyond the flood: — the righteous of their times 
Embrace and weep, they weep the tears of joy. 
The sainted mother wakes, and in her lap 
Clasps her dear babe, the partner of her grave, 
And heritor with her of heaven, — a flower 
Wash'd by the blood of Jesus from the stain 
Of native guilt, even in its early bud. 
And, hark! those strains, how solemnly serene 
They fall, as from the skies — at distance fall — 
Again more loud — The hallelujahs swell; 
The newly-risen catch the joyful sound; 
They glow, they burn ; and now with one accord 
Bursts forth sublime from every mouth the song 
Of praise to God on high, and to the Lamb 

Who bled for mortals. 


Yet there is peace for man. — Yea, there is peace 

Even in this noisy, this unsettled scene ; 

When from the crowd, and from the city far, 

Haply he may be set (in his late walk 

O'ertaken with deep thought) beneath the boughs 

Of honeysuckle, when the sun is gone, 

And with fix'd eye, and wistful, he surveys 

The solemn shadows of the heavens sail, 

And thinks the season yet shall come, when Time 


Will waft him to repose, to deep repose, 

Far from the unquietness of life — from noise 

And tumult far — beyond the flying clouds, 

Beyond the stars, and all this passing scene, 

Where change shall cease, and Time shall be no more. 


This appears to be one of the Author's earliest productions ' f 
written when about the age of fourteen. 

Pictured in memory's mellowing glass how sweet 
Our infant days, our infant joys to greet ; 
To roam in fancy in each cherish'd scene y 
The village churchyard, and the village green, 
The woodland walk remote, the greenwood glade, 5 
The mossy seat beneath the hawthorn's shade, 
The white-wash'd cottage, where the woodbine grew r 
And all the favourite haunts our childhood knew ! 
How sweet, while all the evil shuns the gaze, 
To view th' unclouded skies of former days! 10 

Beloved age of innocence and smiles, 
When each wing'd hour some new delight beguiles, 
When the gay heart, to life's sweet day-spring true, 
Still finds some insect pleasure to pursue. 
Bless'd Childhood, hail ! — Thee simply will I sing, 15 
And from myself the artless picture bring ; 
These long-lost scenes to me the past restore, 
Each humble friend, each pleasure now no more, 
And every stump familiar to my sight 
Recalls some fond idea of delight. 20 

This shrubby knoll was once my favourite seat; 
Here did I love at evening to retreat, 


And muse alone, till in the vault of night, 

Hesper, aspiring, shew'd his golden light. 

Here once again, remote from human noise, 25 

I sit me down to think of former joys ; 

Pause on each scene, each treasured scene, once more, 

And once again each infant walk explore. 

While as each grove and lawn I recognise, 

My melted soul suffuses in my eyes. 30 

And oh! thou Power, whose myriad trains resort 
To distant scenes, and picture them to thought; 
Whose mirror, held unto the mourner's eye, 
Flings to his soul aborrow'd gleam of joy ; 
Bless'd memory, guide, with finger nicely true, 35 

Back to my youth my retrospective view ; 
Recal with faithful vigour to my mind, 
Each face familiar, each relation kind ; 
And all the finer traits of them afford, 
Whose general outline in my heart is stored. 40 

In yonder cot, along whose mouldering walls, 
In many a fold the mantling woodbine falls, 
The village matron kept her little school, 
Gentle of heart, yet knowing well to rule ; 
Staid was the dame, and modest was her mien ; 45 
Her garb was coarse, yet whole, and nicely clean : 
Her neatly border'd cap, as lily fair, 
Beneath her chin was pinn'd with decent care; 
And pendent ruffles, of the whitest lawn, 
Of ancient make, her elbows did adorn. 50 

Faint with old age, and dim were grown her eyes, 
A pair of spectacles their want supplies ; 
These does she guard secure in leathern case, 
From thoughtless wights, in some unweeted place. 

Here first I enter'd, though with toil and pain, 55 
The low vestibule of learning's fane : 


Enter' d with pain, yet soon I found the way, 
Though sometimes toilsome, many a sweet display. 
Much did I grieve, on that ill-fated morn, 
While I was first to school reluctant borne : 60 

Severe I thought the dame, though oft she try'd 
To soothe my swelling spirits when I sigh'd ; 
And oft, when harshly she reproved, I wept, 
To my lone corner broken-hearted crept, 64 

And thought of tender home, where anger never 

But soon inured to alphabetic toils, 
Alert I met the dame with jocund smiles ; 
First at the form, my task for ever true, 
A little favourite rapidly I grew : 

And oft she stroked my head with fond delight, 70 
Held me a pattern to the dunce's sight ; 
And as she gave my diligence its praise, 
Talk'd of the honours of my future days. 

Oh ! had the venerable matron thought 
Of all the ills by talent often brought; 75 

Could she have seen me when revolving years 
Had brought me deeper in the vale of tears ; 
Then had she wept, and wish'd my wayward fate 
Had been a lowlier, an unletter'd state ; 
Wish'd that, remote from worldly woes and strife, 80 
Unknown, unheard, I might have pass'd through life. 

Where, in the busy scene, by peace unbless'd, 
Shall the poor wanderer find a place of rest? 
A lonely mariner on the stormy main, 
Without a hope the calms of peace to gain ; 85 

Long toss'd by tempest o'er the world's wide shore, 
When shall his spirit rest to toil no more ? 
Not till the light foam of the sea shall lave 
The sandy surface of his unwept grave. 


Childhood, to thee I turn, from life's alarms, 90 

Serenest season of perpetual calms, — 

Turn with delight, and bid the passions cease, 

And joy to think with thee I tasted peace. 

Sweet reign of innocence, when no crime defiles, 

But each new object brings attendant smiles ; 95 

When future evils never haunt the sight, 

But all is pregnant with unmix'd delight; 

To thee I turn, from riot and from noise, 

Turn to partake of more congenial joys. 

'Neath yonder elm, that stands upon the moor, 100 
When the clock spoke the hour of labour o'er, 
What clamorous throngs, what happy groups were seen, 
In various postures scatt'ring o'er the green ! 
Some shoot the marble, others join the chase 
Of self-made stag, or run the emulous race; 105 

While others, seated on the dappled grass, 
With doleful tales the light-wing'd minutes pass. 
Well I remember how, with gesture starch'd, 
A band of soldiers, oft with pride we march'd ; 
For banners, to a tall ash we did bind 110 

Our handkerchiefs, flapping to the whistling wind; 
And for our warlike arms we sought the mead, 
And guns and spears we made of brittle reed ; 
Then, in uncouth array, our feats to crown, 
We storm'd some ruin'd pig-sty, for a town. 115 

Pleased with our gay disports, the dame was wont 
To set her wheel before the cottage front, 
And o'er her spectacles would often peer, 
To view our gambols, and our boyish geer. 
Still as she look'd, her wheel kept turning round, 120 
With its beloved monotony of sound. 
When tir'd with play, we'd set us by her side, 
(For out of school she never knew to chide) — 



And wonder at her skill — well known to fame — 

For who could match in spinning with the dame? 125 

Her sheets, her linen, which she shew'd with pride 

To strangers, still her thriftness testified ; 

Though we poor wights did wonder much in troth, 

How 'twas her spinning manufactured cloth. 

Oft would we leave, though well-beloved, our play, 
To chat at home the vacant hour away. 131 

Many's the time I've scamper'd down the glade, 
To ask the promised ditty from the maid, 
Which well she loved, as well she knew to sing, 
While we around her formed a little ring : 1 35 

She told of innocence foredoom'd to bleed, 
Of wicked guardians bent on bloody deed, 
Or little children murder'd as they slept ; 
While at each pause we wrung our hands and wept. 
Sad was such tale, and wonder much did we, 140 

Such hearts of stone there in the world could be. 
Poor simple wights, ah! little did we ween 
The ills that wait on man in life's sad scene ! 
Ah, little thought that we ourselves should know, 
This world's a world of weeping and of woe ! 145 

Beloved moment ! then 'twas first I caught 
The first foundation of romantic thought : 
Then first I shed bold Fancy's thrilling tear, 
Then first that poesy charm'd mine infant ear : 
Soon stored with much of legendary lore, 150 

The sports of childhood charm'd my soul no more. 

Far from the scene of gaiety and noise, 
Far, far from turbulent and empty joys, 
I hied me to the thick o'erarching shade, 
And there, on mossy carpet, listless laid, 155 

While at my feet the rippling runnel ran, 
The days of wild romance antique I'd scan; 


Soar on the wings of fancy through the air, 

To realms of light, and pierce the radiance there. 159 


There are, who think that childhood does not share 

With age the cup, the bitter cup of care : 

Alas! they know not this unhappy truth, 

That every age, and rank, is born to ruth. 

From the first dawn of reason in the mind, 5 

Man is foredoom'd the thorns of grief to find ; 

At every step has farther cause to know 

The draught of pleasure still is dash'd with woe. 
Yet in the youthful breast, for ever caught 

With some new object for romantic thought, 10 

Th' impression of the moment quickly flies, 

And with the morrow every sorrow dies. 

How, different manhood! — Then does Thought's con- 
Sink every pang still deeper in the soul ; [trol 
Then keen Affliction's sad unceasing smart 15 
Becomes a painful resident in the heart ; 
And Care, whom not the gayest can out-brave, 
Pursues its feeble victim to the grave. 
Then, as each long-known friend is summoned hence, 
We feel a void no joy can recompense, 20 
And as we weep o'er every new-made tomb, 
Wish that ourselves the next may meet our doom. 
Yes, Childhood, thee no rankling woes pursue, 
No forms of future ill salute thy view, 
No pangs repentant bid thee wake to weep, 25 
But halcyon peace protects thy downy sleep ; 
And sanguine Hope, through every storm of life, 
Shoots her bright beams, and calms th' internal strife. 
• m 2 


Yet e'en round childhood's heart, a thoughtless shrine, 
Affection's little thread will ever twine ; 30 

And though but frail may seem each tender tie, 
The soul foregoes them, but with many a sigh. 
Thus, when the long-expected moment came, 
When forced to leave the gentle-hearted dame, 
Reluctant throbbings rose within my breast, 35 

And a still tear my silent grief express'd. 
When to the public school compell'd to go, 
What novel scenes did on my senses flow ! 
There in each breast each active power dilates, 
Which broils whole nations, and convulses states ; 40 
There reign by turns alternate, love and hate, 
Ambition burns, and factious rebels prate ; 
And in a smaller range, a smaller sphere, 
The dark deformities of man appear. 
Yet there the gentler virtues kindred claim, 45 

There Friendship lights her pure untainted flame, 
There mild Benevolence delights to dwell, 
And sweet Contentment rests without her cell ; 
And there, 'mid many a stormy soul, we find 
The good of heart, the intelligent of mind. 50 

'Twas there, O George ! with thee I learn'd to join 
In Friendship's bands — in amity divine. 
Oh, mournful thought ! — Where is thy spirit now ? 
As here I sit on favourite Logar's brow, 
And trace below each well-remember'd glade, 55 

Where, arm in arm, erewhile with thee I stray'd. 
Where art thou laid? On what untrodden shore, 
Where nought is heard save ocean's sullen roar, 
Dost thou, in lowly, unlamented state, 
At last repose from all the storms of fate ? 60 

Methinks I see thee struggling with the wave, 
Without one aiding hand stretched out to save ; 


See thee convulsed, thy looks to heaven bend, 

And send thy parting sigh unto thy friend ; 

Or where immeasurable wilds dismay, 65 

Forlorn and sad thou bend'st thy weary way, 

While sorrow and disease with anguish rife, 

Consume apace the ebbing springs of life. 

Again I see his door against thee shut, 

The unfeeling native turn thee from his hut; 70 

I see thee spent with toil, and worn with grief, 

Sit on the grass, and wish the long'd relief; 

Then lie thee down, the stormy struggle o'er, 

Think on thy native land — and rise no more ! 

Oh ! that thou could'st, from thine august abode, 75 
Survey thy friend in life's dismaying road, 
That thou couldst see him at this moment here, 
Embalm thy memory with a pious tear, 
And hover o'er him as he gazes round, 
Where all the scenes of infant joys surround. 80 

Yes! yes ! his spirit's near! — The whispering breeze 
Conveys his voice sad sighing on the trees ; 
And lo ! his form transparent I perceive, 
Borne on the gray mist of the sullen eve : 
He hovers near, clad in the night's dim robe, 85 

While deathly silence reigns upon the globe. 
Yet, ah! whence comes this visionary scene? 
'Tis Fancy's wild aerial dream I ween ; 
By her inspired, when reason takes its flight, 
What fond illusions beam upon the sight ! 90 

She waves her hand, and lo ! what forms appear ! 
What magic sounds salute the wondering ear ! 
Once more o'er distant regions do we tread, 
And the cold grave yields up its cherish'd dead : 
While present sorrow 's banish'd far away, 95 

Unclouded azure gilds the placid day, 
m 3 


Or in the future's cloud-encircled face, 

Fair scenes of bliss to come we fondly trace, 

And draw minutely every little wile, 

Which shall the feathery hours of time beguile. 100 

So when forlorn and lonesome at her gate, 
The Royal Mary solitary sate, 
And view'd the moon-beam trembling on the wave, 
And heard the hollow surge her prison lave, 
Towards France's distant coast she bent her sight, 105 
For there her soul had wing'd its longing flight ; 
There did she form full many a scheme of joy, 
Visions of bliss unclouded with alloy, 
Which bright through Hope's deceitful optics beam'd, 
And all became the surety which it seem'd ; 110 

She wept, yet felt, while all within was calm, 
In every tear a melancholy charm. 

To yonder hill, whose sides, deform'd and steep, 
Just yield a scanty sust'nance to the sheep, 
With thee, my friend, I oftentimes have sped, 115 

To see the sun rise from his healthy bed ; 
To watch the aspect of the summer morn, 
Smiling upon the golden fields of corn, 
And taste delighted of superior joys, 
Beheld through Sympathy's enchanted eyes: 120 

With silent admiration oft we view'd 
The myriad hues o'er heaven's blue concave strew'd ; 
The fleecy clouds, of every tint and shade, 
Round which the silvery sun-beam glancing play'd, 
And the round orb itself, in azure throne, 125 

Just peeping o'er the blue hill's ridgy zone ; 
We mark'd delighted, how, with aspect gay, 
Reviving Nature hail'd returning day ; 
Mark'd how the flowerets rear'd their drooping heads, 
And the wild lambkins bounded o'er the meads, 130 


While from each tree in tones of sweet delight, 

The birds sung pssans to the source of light: 

Oft have we watch'd the speckled lark arise, 

Leave his grass bed, and soar to kindred skies, 

And rise, and rise, till the pain'd sight no more 135 

Could trace him in his high aerial tour ; 

Though on the ear, at intervals, his song 

Came wafted slow the" wavy breeze along; 

And we have thought how happy were our lot, 

Bless'd with some sweet, some solitary cot, 140 

Where, from the peep of day, till russet eve 

Began in every dell her forms to weave, 

We might pursue our sports from day to day 

And in each other's arms wear life away. 

At sultry noon too, when our toils were done, 1 45 
We to the gloomy glen were wont to run ; 
There on the turf we lay, while at our feet 
The cooling rivulet rippled softly sweet ; 
And mused on holy theme, and ancient lore, 
Of deeds, and days, and heroes now no more ; 150 
Heard, as his solemn harp Isaiah swept, 
Sung woe unto the wicked land — and wept ; 
Or, fancy-led — saw Jeremiah mourn 
In solemn sorrow o'er Judea's urn. 
Then to another shore perhaps would rove, 155 

With Plato talk in his Illyssian grove ; 
Or, wandering where the Thespian palace rose, 
Weep once again o'er fair Jocasta's woes. 

Sweet then to us was that romantic band, 
The ancient legends of our native land — 160 

Chivalric Britomart, and Una fair, 
And courteous Constance, doom'd to dark despair, 
By turns our thoughts engaged ; and oft we talk'd 
Of times when monarch Superstition stalk'd, 


And when the blood-fraught galliots of Rome 165 

Brought the grand Druid fabric to its doom : 
While, where the wood-hung Meinai's waters flow, 
The hoary harpers pour'd the strain of woe. 

While thus employ'd, to us how sad the bell 
Which summon'd us to school ! 'Twas fancy's 

And, sadly sounding on the sullen ear, 171 

It spoke of study pale, and chilling fear. 
Yet even then, (for oh ! what chains can bind, 
What powers control, the energies of mind !) 
Even then we soar'd to many a height sublime, 175 
And many a day-dream charm'd the lazy time. 

At evening, too, how pleasing was our walk, 
Endear'd by Friendship's unrestrained talk ! 
When to the upland heights we bent our way, 
To view the last beam of departing day ; 180 

How calm was all around ! no playful breeze 
Sigh'd 'mid the wavy foliage of the trees, 
But all was still, save when, with drowsy song, 
The gray-fly wound his sullen horn along ; 
And save when, heard in soft, yet merry glee, 185 

The distant church-bells' mellow harmony ; 
The silver mirror of the lucid brook, 
That 'mid the tufted broom its still course took; 
The rugged arch that clasp'd its silent tides, 
With moss and rank weeds hanging down its sides: 
The craggy rock, that jutted on the sight ; 191 

The shrieking bat, that took its heavy flight: 
All, all was pregnant with divine delight. 
We loved to watch the swallow swimming high 
In the bright azure of the vaulted sky ; 195 

Or gaze upon the clouds, whose colour'd pride 
Was scatter'd thinly o'er the welkin wide, 


And, tinged with such variety of shade, 

To the charm'd soul sublimest thoughts convey'd. 

In these what forms romantic did we trace, 200 

While Fancy led us o'er the realms of space ! 

Now we espied the Thunderer in his car, 

Leading the embattled seraphim to war, 

Then stately towers descried, sublimely high, 

In Gothic grandeur frowning on the sky — 205 

Or saw, wide stretching o'er the azure height, 

A ridge of glaciers in mural white, 

Hugely terrific. — But those times are o'er, 

And the fond scene can charm mine eyes no more ; 

For thou art gone, and I am left below, 210 

Alone to struggle through this world of woe. 

The scene is o'er — still seasons onward roll, 
And each revolve conducts me toward the goal ; 
Yet all is blank, without one soft relief, 
One endless continuity of grief; 215 

And the tired soul, now led to thoughts sublime, 
Looks but for rest beyond the bounds of time. 

Toil on, toil on, ye busy crowds, that pant 
For hoards of wealth which ye will never want : 
And, lost to all but gain, with ease resign 220 

The calms of peace and happiness divine ! 
Far other cares be mine — Men little crave 
In this short journey to the silent grave ; 
And the poor peasant, bless'd with peace and health, 
I envy more than Croesus with his wealth. 225 

Yet grieve not I, that Fate did not decree 
Paternal acres to* await on me ; 
She gave me more, she placed within my breast 
A heart with little pleased — with little bless'd : 
I look around me, where, on every side 230 

Extensive manors spread in wealthy pride ; 


And could my sight be borne to either zone, 
I should not find one foot of land my own. 

But whither do I wander? shall the muse, 
For golden baits, her simple theme refuse ? 235 

Oh, no ! but while the weary spirit greets 
The fading scenes of childhood's far-gone sweets, 
It catches all the infant's wandering tongue, 
And prattles on in desultory song. 
That song must close — the gloomy mists of night 240 
Obscure the pale stars' visionary light, 
And ebon darkness, clad in vapoury wet, 
Steals on the welkin in primeval jet. 

The song must close. — Once more my adverse lot 
Leads me reluctant from this cherish'd spot : 245 

Again compels to plunge in busy life, 
And brave the hateful turbulence of strife. 

Scenes of my youth — ere my unwilling feet 
Are turn'd for ever from this loved retreat, 

Ere on these fields, with plenty cover'd o'er, 250 

My eyes are closed to ope on them no more, 

Let me ejaculate, to feeling due, 

One long, one last affectionate adieu. 

Grant that, if ever Providence should please 

To give me an old age of peace and ease, 255 

Grant that, in these sequester'd shades, my days 

May wear away in gradual decays ; 

And oh ! ye spirits, who unbodied play 

Unseen upon the pinions of the day, 

Kind genii of my native fields benign, 260 

Who were * " * * * 




Ding-dong ! ding-dong ! 
Merry, merry, go the bells, 
Ding-dong ! ding-dong ! 
Over the heath, over the moor, and over the dale, 

'. Swinging slow with sullen roar/ 
Dance, dance away, the jocund roundelay ! 
Ding-dong, ding-dong, calls us away. 

Round the oak, and round the elm, 

Merrily foot it o'er the ground ! 
The sentry ghost it stands aloof, 
So merrily, merrily foot it round. 
Ding-dong! ding-dong! 
Merry merry, go the bells 
Swelling in the nightly gale, 
The sentry ghost, 
It keeps its post, 
And soon, and soon our sports must fail : 
But let us trip the nightly ground, 
While the merry, merry bells ring round. 

Hark ! hark ! the death-watch ticks ! 
See, see, the winding-sheet ! 
Our dance is done, 
Our race is run, 
And we must lie at the alder's feet ! 
Ding-dong, ding-dong, 
Merry, merry go the bells, 
Swinging o'er the weltering wave ! 
And we must seek 
Our death-beds bleak, 
Where the green sod grows upon the grave. 


They va?iish — The Goddess of Consumption descends, ha- 
bited in a sky-blue robe, attended by mournful music. 

Come, Melancholy, sister mine. 

Cold the dews, and chill the night ! 
Come from thy dreary shrine ! 

The wan moon climbs the heavenly height, 
And underneath the sickly ray 
Troops of squalid spectres play, 
And the dying mortals' groan 
Startles the night on her dusky throne. 
Come, come, sister mine ! 
Gliding on the pale moon-shine; 
We'll ride at ease 
On the tainted breeze, 
And oh ! our sport will be divine. 

The Goddess of Melancholy advances out of a deep glen in 
the rear, habited in black , and covered with a thick veil. 
— She speaks. 

Sister, from my dark abode, 
Where nests the raven, sits the toad, 
Hither I come, at thy command : 
Sister, sister, join thy hand ! 
Sister, sister, join thy hand ! 
I will smooth the way for thee, 
Thou shalt furnish food for me. 
Come, let us speed our way 
Where the troops of spectres play 
To charnel-houses, church-yards drear, 
Where Death sits with a horrible leer, 
A lasting grin on a throne of bones, 
And skim along the blue tomb-stones. 


Come, let us speed away, 
Lay our snares, and spread our tether ! 
I will smooth the way for thee, 
Thou shalt furnish food for me : 
And the grass shall wave 
O'er many a grave, 
Where youth and beauty sleep together. 


Come, let us speed our way ! 
Join our hands and spread our tether ! 
I will furnish food for thee, 
Thou shalt smooth the way for me ; 
And the grass shall wave 
O'er many a grave, 
Where youth and beauty sleep together. 


Hist, sister, hist! who comes here? 
Oh ! I know her by that tear, 
By that blue eye's languid glare, 
By her skin, and by her hair : 

She is mine, 

And she is thine, 
Now the deadliest draught prepare. 


In the dismal night air dress'd 
I will creep into her breast; 
Flush her cheek, and bleach her skin, 
And feed on the vital fire within. 
Lover, do not trust her eyes, — ■ 
When they sparkle most she dies ! 
Mother, do not trust her breath, — 
Comfort she will breathe in death ! 



Father, do not strive to save her, — 
She is mine, and I must have her ! 
The coffin must be her bridal bed ; 
The winding-sheet must wrap her head; 
The whispering winds must o'er her sigh, 
For soon in the grave the maid must lie, 

The worm it will riot 

On heavenly diet, 
When death has deflower'd her eye. 

[They vanish. 

While Consumption speaks, Angelina enters. 


With* what a silent and dejected pace 

Dost thou, wan Moon ! upon thy way advance 

In the blue welkin's vault ! — Pale wanderer ! 

Hast thou too, felt the pangs of hopeless love, 

That thus, with such a melancholy grace, 

Thou dost pursue thy solitary course? 

Has thy Endymion, smooth-faced boy, forsook 

Thy widow'd breast — on which the spoiler oft 

Has nestled fondly, while the silver clouds 

Fantastic pillow'd thee, and the dim night, 

Obsequious to thy will, encurtain'd round 

W T ith its thick fringe thy couch ? — Wan traveller, 

How like thy fate to mine ! — Yet I have still 

One heavenly hope remaining, which thou lack'st ; 

My woes will soon be buried in the grave 

Of kind forgetfulness :— my journey here, 

Though it be darksome, joyless, and forlorn, 

Is yet but short, and soon my weary feet 

Will greet the peaceful inn of lasting rest. 

* With how sad steps, O moon ! thou climb'st the skies, 
How silently and with how wan a face ! — Sir P. Sidney. 


But thou, unhappy Queen ! art doom'd to trace 
Thy lonely walk in the drear realms of night, 
While many a lagging age shall sweep beneath 
The leaden pinions of unshaken time ; 
Though not a hope shall spread its glittering hue 
To cheat thy steps along the weary way. 

O that the sum of human happiness 
Should be so trifling, and so frail withal, 
That when possess'd, it is but lessen'd grief; 
And even then there's scarce a sudden gust 
That blows across the dismal waste of life, 
But bears it from the view. — Oh ! who would shun 
The hour that cuts from earth, and fear to press 
The calm and peaceful pillows of the grave, 
And yet endure the various ills of life, 
And dark vicissitudes ! — Soon, I hope, I feel, 
And am assured, that I shall lay my head, 
My weary aching head on its last rest, 
And on my lowly bed the grass-green sod 
Will flourish sweetly. — And then they will weep 
That one so young, and what they're pleased to call 
So beautiful, should die so soon — And tell 
How painful Disappointment's canker'd fang 
Wither'd the rose upon my maiden cheek. 
Oh foolish ones ! why, I shall sleep so sweetly, 
Laid in my darksome grave, that they themselves 
Might envy me my rest! — And as for them, 
Who, on the score of former intimacy, 
May thus remembrance me — they must themselves 
Successive fall. 

Around the winter fire 
(When out-a-doors the biting frost congeals, 
And shrill the skater's irons on the pool 
Ring loud, as by the moonlight he performs 
¥ 2 


His graceful evolutions) they not long 
Shall sit and chat of older times and feats 
Of early youth, but silent, one by one, 
Shall drop into their shrouds. — Some, in their age, 
Ripe for the sickle; others young, like me, 
And falling green beneath th' untimely stroke. 
Thus, in short time, in the churchyard forlorn, 
Where I shall lie, my friends will lay them down, 
And dwell with me, a happy family. 
And oh ! thou cruel, yet beloved youth, 
Who now hast left me hopeless here to mourn, 
Do thou but shed one tear upon my corse, 
And say that I was gentle, and deserved 
A better lover, and I shall forgive 
All, all thy wrongs ; and then do thou forget 
The hapless Margaret, and be as bless'd 
As wish can make thee — Laugh ? and play, and sing, 
With thy dear choice, and never think of me. 
Yet hist ! I hear a step. — In this dark wood — 



I've read, my friend, of Dioclesian, 

And many other noble Grecian, 

Who wealth and palaces resign'd, 

In cots the joys of peace to find; 

Maximian's meal of turnip-tops 

(Disgusting food to dainty chops), 

I've also read of, without wonder; 

But such a curs'd egregious blunder, 

As that a man of wit and sense, 

Should leave his books to hoard up pence,- 


Forsake the loved Aonian maids, 
For all the petty tricks of trades, 
I never, either now, or long since, 
Have heard of such a piece of nonsense ; 
That one who learning's joys hath felt, 
And at the Muse's altar knelt, 
Should leave a life of sacred leisure, 
To taste the accumulating pleasure ; 
And metamorphosed to an alley duck, 
Grovel in loads of kindred muck. 
Oh ! 'tis beyond my comprehension ! 
A courtier throwing up his pension, — 
A lawyer working without a fee, — 
A parson giving charity, — 
A truly pious methodist preacher, — 
Are not, egad, so out of nature. 
Had nature made thee half a fool, 
But given thee wit to keep a school, 
I had not stared at thy backsliding : 
But when thy wit I can confide in, 
When well I know thy just pretence 
To solid and exalted sense ; 
When well I know that on thy head 
Philosophy her lights hath shed, 
I stand aghast ! thy virtues sum too, 
And wonder what this world will come to 
Yet, whence this strain ? shall I repine 
That thou alone dost singly shine ? 
Shall I lament that thou alone, 
Of men of parts, hast prudence known? 

k 3 



Oh, Warton ! to thy soothing shell, 
Stretch'd remote in hermit cell, 
Where the brook runs babbling by, 
For ever I could listening lie ; 
And catching all the Muse's fire, 
Hold converse with the tuneful quire, 

What pleasing themes thy page adorn, 
The ruddy streaks of cheerful morn, 
The pastoral pipe, the ode sublime, 
And Melancholy's mournful chime ! 
Each with unwonted graces shines 
In thy ever-lovely lines. 

Thy Muse deserves the lasting meed; 
Attuning sweet the Dorian reed, 
Now the love-lorn swain complains, 
And sings his sorrows to the plains ; 
Now the Sylvan scenes appear 
Through all the changes of the year ; 
Or the elegiac strain 
Softly sings of mental pain, 
And mournful diapasons sail 
On the faintly-dying gale. 

But, ah ! the soothing scene is o'er! 

On middle flight we cease to soar, 
For now the Muse assumes a bolder sweep, 
Strikes on the lyric string her sorrows deep, 

In strains unheard before. 
Now, now the rising fire thrills high, 
Now, now to heaven's high realms we fly, 

And every throne explore ; 


The soul entranced, on mighty wings, 
With all the poet's heat, up springs, 

And loses earthly woes ; 
Till all alarm'd at the giddy height, 
The Muse descends on gentler flight, 

And lulls the wearied soul to soft repose. 



Ill-fated maid, in whose unhappy train 
Chill poverty and misery are seen, 

Anguish and discontent, the unhappy bane 
Of life, and blackener of each brighter scene. 

Why to thy votaries dost thou give to feel 
So keenly all the scorns — the jeers of life ? 
Why not endow them to endure the strife 

With apathy's invulnerable steel, [heal ? 

Of self-content and ease, each torturing wound to 

Ah ! who would taste your self-deluding joys, 
That lure the unwary to a wretched doom, 

That bid fair views and flattering hopes arise, 
Then hurl them headlong to a lasting tomb? 

What is the charm which leads thy victims on 
To persevere in paths that lead to woe? 
What can induce them in that route to go, 

In which innumerous before have gone, 

And died in misery, poor and woe-begone? 

Yet can I ask what charms in thee are found ; 
I, who have drank from thine ethereal rill, 

And tasted all the pleasures that abound 
Upon Parnassus' loved Aonian hill ? 


I, through whose soul the Muses' strains aye thrill ! 
Oh ! I do feel the spell with which I'm tied ; 

And though our annals fearful stories tell, 
How Savage languish'd, and how Otway died, 
Yet must I persevere, let whate'er will betide. 


Why should I blush to own I love ? 
'Tis Love that rules the realms above. 
Why should I blush to say to all, 
That Virtue holds my heart in thrall ? 

Why should I seek the thickest shade, 
Lest Love's dear secret be betray'd ? 
Why the stern brow deceitful move, 
When I am languishing with love ? 

Is it weakness thus to dwell 
On passion that I dare not tell ? 
Such weakness I would ever prove — 
'Tis painful, though 'tis sweet to love. 

When the winter wind whistles along the wild moor, 
And the cottager shuts on the beggar his door ; 
When the chilling tear stands in my comfortless eye, 
Oh, how hard is the lot of the Wandering Boy ! 

The winter is cold, and I have no vest, 
And my heart it is cold as it beats in my breast ; 
No father, no mother, no kindred have I, 
For I am a parentless Wandering Boy. 

Yet I had a home, and I once had a sire, 
A mother who granted each infant desire ; 
Our cottage it stood in a wood-embower'd vale, 
Where the ring-dove would warble its sorrowful talc. 


But my father and mother were summoned away, 
And they left me to hard-hearted strangers a prey ; 
I fled from their rigour with many a sigh, 
And now I'm a poor little Wandering Boy. 

The wind it is keen, and the snow loads the gale, 
And no one will list to my innocent tale ; 
I'll go to the grave where my parents both lie, 
And death shall befriend the poor Wandering Boy. 


The western gale, 

Mild as the kisses of connubial love, 
Plays round my languid limbs, as all dissolved, 
Beneath the ancient elm's fantastic shade 
I lie, exhausted with the noon-tide heat : 
While rippling o'er his deep-worn pebble bed, 
The rapid rivulet rushes at my feet, 
Dispensing coolness. — On the fringed marge 
Full many a floweret rears its head, — or pink, 
Or gaudy daffodil. — 'Tis here, at noon, 
The buskin'd wood-nymphs from the heat retire, 
And lave them in the fountain ; here secure 
From Pan, or savage satyr, they disport ; 
Or stretch'd supinely on the velvet turf, 
Lull'd by the laden bee, or sultry fly, 
Invoke the god of slumber. * * * 
* * * * 

And hark ! how merrily, from distant tower, 
Ring round the village bells ! now on the gale 
They rise with gradual swell, distinct and loud ; 
Anon they die upon the pensive ear, 
Melting in faintest music. — They bespeak 
A day of jubilee, and oft they bear, 


Commix'd along the unfrequented shore, 
The sound of village dance and tabor loud, 
Startling the musing ear of Solitude. 

Such is the jocund wake of Whitsuntide, 
When happy Superstition, gabbling eld ! 
Holds her unhurtful gambols. — All the day 
The rustic revellers ply the mazy dance 
On the smooth-shaven green, and then at eve 
Commence the harmless rites and auguries ; 
And many a tale of ancient days goes round. 
They tell of wizard seer, whose potent spells 
Could hold in dreadful thrall the labouring moon, 
Or draw the fix'd stars from their eminence, 
And still the midnight tempest. Then anon 
Tell of uncharnell'd spectres, seen to glide 
Along the lone wood's unfrequented path, 
Startling the 'nighted traveller ; while the sound 
Of undistinguish'd murmurs, heard to come 
From the dark centre of the deep'ning glen, 
Struck on his frozen ear. 

Oh, Ignorance ! 
Thou art fall'n man's best friend ! With thee he speeds 
In frigid apathy along his way, 
And never does the tear of agony 
Burn down his scorching cheek; or the keen steel 
Of wounded feeling penetrate his breast. 

Even now, as leaning on this fragrant bank, 
I taste of all the keener happiness 
Which sense refined affords — Even now, my heart 
Would fain induce me to forsake the world, 
Throw off these garments, and in the shepherd's weeds 
With a small flock, and short suspended reed, 
To sojourn in the woodland. — Then my thought 
Draws such gay pictures of ideal bliss, 


That I could almost err in reason's spite, 
And trespass on my judgment. 

Such is life : 
The distant prospect always seems more fair, 
And when attain'd, another still succeeds, 
Far fairer than before, — yet compass'd round 
With the same dangers, and the same dismay: 
And we poor pilgrims in this dreary maze, 
Still discontented, chase the fairy form 
Of unsubstantial Happiness, to find, 
When life itself is sinking in the strife, 
'Tis but an airy bubble and a cheat. 



Hark ! how the merry bells ring jocund round, 
And now they die upon the veering breeze ; 

Anon they thunder loud 

Full on the musing ear. 

Wafted in varying cadence, by the shore 
Of the still twinkling river, they bespeak 

A day of jubilee, 

An ancient holiday. 

And, lo ! the rural revels are begun, 
And gaily echoing to the laughing sky, 

On the smooth-shaven green, 

Resounds the voice of Mirth. 

Alas ! regardless of the tongue of Fate, 
That tells them 'tis but as an hour since they 

Who now are in their graves, 

Kept up the Whitsun dance ; 


And that another hour, and they must fall 
Like those who went before, and sleep as still 

Beneath the silent sod, 

A cold and cheerless sleep. 

Yet why should thoughts like these intrude to scare 
The vagrant Happiness, when she will deign 

To smile upon us here, 

A transient visitor ? 

Mortals ! be gladsome while ye have the power, 
And laugh and seize the glittering lapse of joy ; 

In time the bell will toll 

That warns ye to your graves. 

I to the woodland solitude will bend 

My lonesome way — where Mirth's obstreperous shout 

Shall not intrude to break 

The meditative hour. 

There will I ponder on the state of man, 
Joyless and sad of heart, and consecrate 

This day of jubilee 

To sad reflection's shrine ; 

And I will cast my fond eye far beyond 
This world of care, to where the steeple loud 

Shall rock above the sod, 

Where I shall sleep in peace. 


Maiden ! wrap thy mantle round thee, 
Cold the rain beats on thy breast : 

Why should Horror's voice astound thee ? 
Death can bid the wretched rest ! 


All under the tree 
Thy bed may be, 
And thou mayst slumber peacefully. 

Maiden ! once gay Pleasure knew thee ; 

Now thy cheeks are pale and deep : 
Love has been a felon to thee, 
Yet, poor maiden, do not weep : 
There's rest for thee 
All under the tree, 
Where thou wilt sleep most peacefully. 


Some to Aonian lyres of silver sound 

With winning elegance attune their song, 

Form'd to sink lightly on the soothed sense, 

And charm the soul with softest harmony ; 

'Tis then that Hope with sanguine eye is seen 

Roving through Fancy's gay futurity; 

Her heart light dancing to the sounds of pleasure, 

Pleasure of days to come. — Memory, too, then 

Comes with her sister, Melancholy sad, 

Pensively musing on the scenes of youth, 

Scenes never to return.* 

Such subjects merit poets used to raise 

The attic verse harmonious ; but for me 

A dreadlier theme demands my backward hand, 

And bids me strike the strings of dissonance 

With frantic energy. 

; Tis wan Despair I sing : if sing I can 

Of him before whose blast the voice of Song, 

And Mirth, and Hope, and Happiness all fly, 

* Alluding to the two pleasing poems, the Pleasures of Hope 
and of Memory. 


Nor ever dare return. His notes are heard 

At noon of night, where on the coast of blood, 

The lacerated son of Angola 

Howls forth his sufferings to the moaning wind ; 

And, when the awful silence of the night 

Strikes the chill death-dew to the murderer's heart, 

He speaks in every conscience-prompted word 

Half utter'd, half suppress'd — 

'Tis him I sing — Despair — terrific name, 

Striking unsteadily the tremulous chord 

Of timorous terror — discord in the sound : 

For to a theme revolting as is this, 

Dare not I woo the maids of harmony, 

Who love to sit and catch the soothing sound 

Of lyre iEolian, or the martial bugle, 

Calling the hero to the field of glory, 

And firing him with deeds of high emprise, 

And warlike triumph : but from scenes like mine 

Shrink they affrighted, and detest the bard 

Who dares to sound the hollow tones of horror. 

Hence, then, soft maids, 
And woo the silken zephyr in the bowers 
By Heliconia's sleep-inviting stream : 
For aid like yours I seek not ; 'tis for powers 
Of darker hue to inspire a verse like mine ! 
'Tis work for wizards, sorcerers, and fiends ! 

Hither, ye furious imps of Acheron, 
Nurslings of hell, and beings shunning light, 
And all the myriads of the burning concave ; 
Souls of the damned; — Hither, oh! come and join 
The infernal chorus. 'Tis Despair I sing ! 
He, whose sole tooth inflicts a deadlier pang 
Than all your tortures join'd. Sing, sing Despair ! 
Repeat the sound and celebrate his power ; 


Unite shouts, screams, and agonizing shrieks, 
Till the loud psean ring through hell's high vault, 
And the remotest spirits of the deep 
Leap from the lake, and join the dreadful song. 


Not unfamiliar to mine ear, 

Blasts of the night! ye howl, as now 

My shuddering casement loud 
With fitful force ye beat. 

Mine ear has dwelt in silent awe, 
The howling sweep, the sudden rush ; 
And when the passing gale 

Pour'd deep the hollow dirge — 

* * * * 


Silence of death — portentous calm, 

Those airy forms that yonder fly, 
Denote that your void fore-runs a storm, 

That the hour of fate is nigh. 

I see, I see, on the dim mist borne, 

The spirit of battles rear his crest ! 
I see, I see, that ere the morn, 

His spear will forsake its hated rest, [breast. 

And the widow'd wife of Larrendill will beat her naked 

O'er the smooth bosom of the sullen deep, 

No softly ruffling zephyrs fly ; 
But nature sleeps a deathless sleep, 

For the hour of battle is nigh. 
Not a loose leaf waves on the dusky oak, 

But a creeping stillness reigns around ; 
Except when the raven, with ominous croak, 

On the ear does unwelcomely sound, 
o 2 


I know, I know what this silence means ; 

I know what the raven saith — 
Strike, oh, ye bards! the melancholy harp, 

For this is the eve of death. 

Behold, how along the twilight air 

The shades of our fathers glide! 
There Morven fled, with the blood-drench'd hair, 

And Colma with gray side. 
No gale around its coolness flings, 

Yet sadly sigh the gloomy trees ; 
And hark ! how the harp's unvisited strings 

Sound sweet ! as if swept by a whispering breeze ! 
'Tis done! the sun he has set in blood ! 

He will never set more to the brave ; 
Let us pour to the hero the dirge of death — 

For to-morrow he hies to the grave. 


Oh ! who would cherish life, 
And cling unto thisjieavy clog of clay, 

Love this rude world of strife, 
Where glooms and tempests cloud the fairest day ; 

And where, 'neath outward smiles 
Conceal'd, the snake lies feeding on its prey ; 
Where pit-falls lie in every flowery way, 

And sirens lure the wanderer to their wiles! 

Hateful it is to me, 
Its riotous railings and revengeful strife ; 

I'm tired with all its screams and brutal shouts 
Dinning the ear; — away — away — with life! 

And welcome, oh! thou silent maid, 

Who in some foggy vault art laid, 


Where never day-light's dazzling ray 

Comes to disturb thy dismal sway ; 

And there amid unwholesome damps dost sleep, 

In such forgetful slumbers deep, 

That all thy senses stupified, 

Are to marble petrified. 

Sleepy death, I welcome thee ! 

Sweet are thy calms to misery. 

Poppies I will ask no more, 

Nor the fatal hellebore; 

Death is the best, the only cure, 

His are slumbers ever sure. 

Lay me in the Gothic tomb, 

In whose solemn fretted gloom 

I may lie in mouldering state, 

With all the grandeur of the great : 

Over me, magnificent, 

Carve a stately monument: 

Then thereon my statue lay, 

With hands in attitude to pray, 

And angels serve to hold my head, 

Weeping o'er the father dead. 

Duly too, at close of day, 

Let the pealing organ play ; 

And while th' harmonious thunders roll 

Chant a vesper to my soul : 

Thus how sweet my sleep will be, 

Shut out from thoughtful misery ! 


Away with death — away 
With all her sluggish sleeps and chilling damps, 

Impervious to the day, 
Where nature sinks into inanity, 
o 3 


How can the soul desire 
Such hateful nothingness to crave, 
And yield with joy the vital fire, 
To moulder in the grave ! 
Yet mortal life is sad, 
Eternal storms molest its sullen sky ; 

And sorrows ever rife 
Drain the sacred fountain dry — 
Away with mortal life ! 
But, hail the calm reality, 
The seraph Immortality ! 
Hail the heavenly bowers of peace! 
Where all the storms of passion cease. 
Wild Life's dismaying struggle o'er, 
The wearied spirit weeps no more; 
But wears the eternal smile of joy, 
Tasting bliss without alloy. 
Welcome, welcome, happy bowers, 
Where no passing tempest lowers ; 
But the azure heavens display 
The everlasting smile of day; 
Where the choral seraph choir, 
Strike to praise the harmonious lyre; 
And the spirit sinks to ease, 
Lull'd by distant symphonies. 
Oh ! to think of meeting there 
The friends whose graves received our 

The daughter lov'd, the wife adored, 
To our widow'd arms restored; 
And all the joys which death did sever, 
Given to us again for ever! 
Who would cling to wretched life, 
And hug the poison'd thorn of strife: 


Who would not long from earth to fly, 
A sluggish senseless lump to lie, 
When the glorious prospect lies 
Full before his raptured eyes ? 


Written between the Ages of Fourteen and Fifteen, 
with a few subsequent verbal Alterations. 

Music, all powerful o'er the human mind, 

Can still each mental storm, each tumult calm, 

Soothe anxious Care on sleepless couch reclined, 
And e'en fierce Anger's furious rage disarm. 

At her command the various passions lie ; 

She stirs to battle, or she lulls to peace ; 
Melts the charm'd soul to thrilling ecstacy, 

And bids the jarring world's harsh clangour cease. 

Her martial sounds can fainting troops inspire 
With strength unwonted, and enthusiasm raise ; 

Infuse new ardour, and with youthful fire 
Urge on the warrior gray with length of days. 

Far better she when with her soothing lyre 

She charms the falchion from the savage grasp. 

And melting into pity vengeful Ire, 

Looses the bloody breastplate's iron clasp. 

With her in pensive mood I long to roam, 
At midnight's hour or evening's calm decline, 

And thoughtful o'er the falling streamlet's foam, 
In calm Seclusion's hermit-walks recline. 

Whilst mellow sounds from distant copse arise, 
Of softest flutes or reeds harmonic join'd, 

With rapture thrill'd each worldly passion dies, 
And pleased Attention claims the passive mind. 


Soft through the dell the dying strains retire, 
Then burst majestic in the varied swell ; 

Now breathe melodious as the Grecian lyre, 
Or on the ear in sinking cadence dwell. 

Romantic sounds ! such is the bliss ye give, 

That heaven's bright scenes seem bursting on the 

With joy Fd yield each sensual wish, to live [soul, 

For ever 'neath your undefiled control. 

Oh! surely melody from heaven was sent, 

To cheer the soul when tired with human strife, 

To soothe the wayward heart by sorrow rent, 
And soften down the rugged road of life. 


-Cum ruit imbriferum ver 

Spicea jam campis cum messis inhorruit, et cum 
Frumenta in viridi stipula lactentia turgnet : 

Cuncta tibi Cererem pubes agrestis adoret. Virgil. 

Moon of Harvest, herald mild 
Of plenty, rustic labour's child, 
Hail! oh hail ! I greet thy beam, 
As soft it trembles o'er the stream, 
And gilds the straw- thatched hamlet wide, 
Where Innocence and Peace reside ; 
'Tis thou that gladd'st with joy the rustic throng, 
Promptest the tripping dance, th' exhilarating song. 

Moon of Harvest, I do love 
O'er the uplands now to rove, 
While thy modest ray serene 
Gilds the wide surrounding scene; 
And to watch thee riding high 
In the blue vault of the sky, 


Where no thin vapour intercepts thy ray, 

But in unclouded majesty thou walkest on thy way. 

Pleasing 'tis, oh, modest Moon ! 
Now the night is at her noon, 
'Neath thy sway to musing lie, 
While around the zephyrs sigh, 
Fanning soft the sun-tann'd wheat, 
Ripen'd by the summer's heat; 

Picturing all the rustic's joy 

When boundless plenty greets his eye, 

And thinking soon, 

Oh, modest Moon! 
How many a female eye will roam 

Along the road, 

To see the load, 
The last dear load of harvest-home. 

Storms and tempests, floods and rains, 

Stern despoilers of the plains, 

Hence away, the season flee, 

Foes to light-heart jollity : 

May no winds careering high, 

Drive the clouds along the sky, 
But may all nature smile with aspect boon, 
When in the Heavens thou show'st thy face, oh, 
Harvest Moon ! 

'Neath yon lowly roof he lies, 

The husbandman, with sleep-seal'd eyes ; 

He dreams of crowded barns, and round 

The yard he hears the flail resound ; 

Oh ! may no hurricane destroy 

His visionary views of joy ! 


God of the winds ! oh, hear his humble pray'r, 
And while the Moon of harvest shines, thy blustering 
whirlwind spare. 

Sons of luxury, to you 

Leave I Sleep's dull power to woo : 

Press ye still the downy bed, 

While feverish dreams surround your head; 

I will seek the woodland glade, 

Penetrate the thickest shade, 

Wrapp'd in Contemplation's dreams, 

Musing high on holy themes, 

While on the gale 

Shall softly sail 
The nightingale's enchanting tune, 

And oft my eyes 

Shall grateful rise 
To thee the modest Harvest Moon ! 



Softly, softly blow, ye breezes, 

Gently o'er my Edwy fly ! 
Lo! he slumbers, slumbers sweetly; 
Softly, zephyrs, pass him by! 
My love is asleep, 
He lies by the deep, 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

I have cover'd him with rushes, 

Water-flags, and branches dry. 
Edwy, long have been thy slumbers ; 

Edwy, Edwy, ope thine eye ! 


My love is asleep, 
He lies by the deep, 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

Still he sleeps ; he will not waken, 

Fastly closed is his eye ; 
Paler is his cheek, and chiller 
Than the icy moon on high. 
Alas ! he is dead, 
He has chose his death-bed 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

Is it, is it so, my Edwy ? 

Will thy slumbers never fly? 
Could'st thou think I would survive thee? 
No, my love, thou bidd'st me die. 
Thou bidd'st me seek 
Thy death- bed bleak 
All along where the salt waves sigh. 

I will gently kiss thy cold lips, 

On thy breast I'll lay my head, 
And the winds shall sing our death-dirge, 
And our shroud the waters spread ; 
The moon will smile sweet, 
And the wild wave will beat, 
Oh ! so softly o'er our lonely bed. 


Thou, spirit of the spangled night! 
I woo thee from the watch-tower high, 
Where thou dost sit to guide the bark 
Of lonely mariner. 


The winds are whistling o'er the wolds, 
The distant main is moaning low ; 
Come, let us sit and weave a song — 
A melancholy song ! 

Sweet is the scented gale of morn, 
And sweet the noontide's fervid beam, 
But sweeter far the solemn calm, 
That marks thy mournful reign. 

I've pass'd here many a lonely year, 
And never human voice have heard ; 
I've pass'd here many a lonely year, 
A solitary man. 

And I have linger'd in the shade, 
From sultry noon's hot beam ; and I 
Have knelt before my wicker door, 
To sing my evening song. 

And I have hail'd the gray morn high, 
On the blue mountain's misty brow, 
And tried to tune my little reed 
To hymns of harmony. 

But never could I tune my reed, 
At morn, or noon, or eve, so sweet, 
As when upon the ocean shore 
I hail'd thy star-beam mild. 

The day-spring brings not joy to me, 
The moon it whispers not of peace ; 
But oh ! when darkness robes the heavens, 
My woes are mixed with joy. 

And then I talk, and often think 
Aerial voices answer me; 
And oh ! I am not then alone — 
A solitary man; 


And when the blustering winter winds 
Howl in the woods that clothe my cave, 
I lay me on my lonely mat, 

And pleasant are my dreams. 

And Fancy gives me back my wife ; 
And Fancy gives me back my child ; 
She gives me back my little home, 
And all its placid joys. 

Then hateful is the morning hour, 
That calls me from the dream of bliss, 
To find myself still lone, and hear 
The same dull sounds again. 

The deep-toned winds, the moaning sea, 
The whispering of the boding trees, 
The brook's eternal flow, and oft 
The condor's hollow scream. 


Sweet to the gay of heart is Summer's smile, 

Sweet the wild music of the laughing Spring ; 
But ah ! my soul far other scenes beguile, 

Where gloomy storms their sullen shadows fling. 
Is it for me to strike the Idalian string — ■ 

Raise the soft music of the warbling wire, 
While in my ears the howls of furies ring, 

And melancholy wastes the vital fire? 
Away with thoughts like these ! — To some lone cave 

Where howls the shrill blast, and where sweeps the 
Direct my steps ; there, in the lonely drear, [wave, 

I'll sit remote from worldly noise, and muse 

Till through my soul shall Peace her balm infuse, 
And whisper sounds of comfort in mine ear. 



Written at the age of Thirteen. 
The morning suns enchanting rays 
Now call forth every songster's praise ; 
Now the lark, with upward flight, 
Gaily ushers in tire light ; 
While wildly warbling from each tree, 
The birds sing songs to Liberty. 

But for me no songster sings, 
For me no joyous lark up-springs ; 
For I, confined in gloomy school, 
Must own the pedant's iron rule, 
And, far from sylvan shades and bowers, 
In durance vile must pass the hours ; 
There con the scholiast's dreary lines, 
Where no bright ray of genius shines, 
And close to rugged learning cling, 
While laughs around the jocund Spring. 

How gladly would my soul forego 
All that arithmeticians know, 
Or stiff grammarians quaintly teach, 
Or all that industry can reach, 
To taste each morn of all the joys 
That with the laughing sun arise ; 
And unconstrain'd to rove along 
The bushy brakes and glens among; 
And woo the muse's gentle power, 
In unfrequented rural bower ! 
But ah! such heaven-approaching joys 
Will never greet my longing eyes ; 
Still will they cheat in vision fine, 
Yet never but in fancy shine. 


Oh, that I were the little wren 
That shrilly chirps from yonder glen ! 
Oh, far away I then would rove, 
To some secluded bushy grove ; 
There hop and sing with careless glee, 
Hop and sing at liberty ; 
And till death should stop my lays, 
Far from men would spend my days. 


Thee do I own, the prompter of my joys, 
The soother of my cares, inspiring peace ; 
And I will ne'er forsake thee. — Men may rave, 
And blame, and censure me, that I don't tie 
My every thought down to the desk, and spend 
The morning of my life in adding figures 
With accurate monotony ; that so 
The good things of this world may be my lot, 
And I might taste the blessedness of wealth : 
But, oh! I was not made for money-getting; 
For me no much-respected plum awaits, 
Nor civic honour, envied. For as still 
I tried to cast with school dexterity 
The interesting sums, my vagrant thoughts 
Would quick revert to many a woodland haunt, 
Which fond remembrance cherish'd ; and the pen 
Dropp'd from my senseless fingers as I pictured, 
In my mind's eye, how on the shores of Trent 
I erewhile wander'd with my early friends % 
In social intercourse. And then I'd think 
How contrary pursuits had thrown us wide, 
One from the other; scatter'd o'er thcglobe, 
They were sat down with sober steadiness 
p 2 


Each to his occupation. I alone, 

A wayward youth, misled by Fancy's vagaries, 

Remain'd unsettled, insecure, and veering 

With every wind to every point o' th' compass. 

Yes, in the counting-house I could indulge 

In fits of close abstraction ; yea, amid 

The busy bustling crowds could meditate, 

And send my thoughts ten thousand leagues away 

Beyond the Atlantic, resting on my friend. 

Aye, Contemplation, even in earliest youth 

I woo'd thy heavenly influence ! I would walk 

A weary way, when all my toils were done, 

To lay myself at night in some lone wood, 

And hear the sweet song of the nightingale. 

Oh, those were times of happiness, and still 

To memory doubly dear ; for growing years 

Had not then taught me man was made to mourn; 

And a short hour of solitary pleasure, 

Stolen from sleep, was ample recompense 

For all the hateful bustles of the day. 

My op'ning mind was ductile then, and plastic, 

And soon the marks of care were worn away, 

While I was sway'd by every novel impulse, 

Yielding to all the fancies of the hour. 

But it has now assum'd its character; 

Mark'd by strong lineaments, its haughty tone, 

Like the firm oak, would sooner break than bend. 

Yet still, oh, Contemplation ! I do love 

To indulge thy solemn musings ; still the same, 

With thee alone I know to melt and weep, 

In thee alone delighting. Why along 

The dusky tract of commerce should I toil, 

When, with an easy competence content, 

I can alone be happy ; where with thee 


I may enjoy the loveliness of Nature, 
And loose the wings of Fancy ? — Thus alone 
Can I partake of happiness on earth ; 
And to be happy here is man's chief end, 
For to be happy he must needs be good. 


Sweet scented flower! who art wont to bloom 

On January's front severe, 

And o'er the wintry desert drear 
To waft thy waste perfume ! 
Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now, 
And I will bind thee round my brow ; 

And as I twine the mournful wreath, 
I'll weave a melancholy song : 
And sweet the strain shall be and long, 

The melody of death. 
Come, funeral flower ! who lov'st to dwell 

With the pale corse in lonely tomb, 

And throw across the desert gloom 
A sweet decaying smell. 
Come, press my lips, and lie with me 
Beneath the lowly alder tree ; 

And we will sleep a pleasant sleep ; 
And not a care shall dare intrude, 
To break the marble solitude, 

So peaceful and so deep. 
And hark ! the wind-god, as he flies, 

Moans hollow in the forest trees, 

And sailing on the gusty breeze, 
Mysterious music dies. 
•The rosemary buds in January. It is the flower commonly put 
in the coffins of the dead. 

r 3 


Sweet flower ! that requiem wild is mine, 
It warns me to the lonely shrine, 

The cold turf altar of the dead ; 

My grave shall be in yon lone spot, 

Where as I lie, by all forgot, 
A dying fragrance thou wilt o'er my ashes shed. 


Written during Illness. 

Beams of the day-break faint! I hail 
Your dubious hues, as on the robe 
Of night, which wraps the slumbering globe, 

I mark your traces pale. 
Tired with the taper's sickly light, 
And with the wearying, number'd night, 
I hail the streaks of morn divine: 
And lo! they break between the dewy wreaths 

That round my rural casement twine : 
The fresh gale o'er the green lawn breathes ; 
It fans my feverish brow, — it calms the mental strife, 
And cheerily re-illumes the lambent flame of life. 

The lark has her gay song begun, 

She leaves her grassy nest, 
And soars till the unristn sun 

Gleams on her speckled breast. 
Now let me leave my restless bed, 
And o'er the spangled uplands tread ; 

Now through the custom'd wood-walk wend ; 
By many a green lane lies my way, 

Where high o'er head the wild briars bend, 
Till on the mountain's summit gray, 
I sit me down, and mark the glorious dawn of clay. 


Oh, Heaven ! the soft refreshing gale 

It breathes into my breast ! 
My sunk eye gleams ; my cheek, so pale, 

Is with new colours dress'd. 
Blithe Health ! thou soul of life and ease ! 
Come thou too, on the balmy breeze, 

Invigorate my frame : 
111 join with thee the buskin'd chase, 
With thee the distant clime will trace, 

Beyond those clouds of flame. 

Above, below, what charms unfold 

In all the varied view ! 
Before me all is burnish'd gold, 

Behind the twilight's hue. 
The mists which on old Night await, 
Far to the west they hold their state, 

They shun the clear blue face of Morn ; 

Along the fine cerulian sky 

The fleecy clouds successive fly, [adorn. 

While bright prismatic beams their shadowy folds 

And hark ! the thatcher has begun 

His whistle on the eaves, 
And oft the hedger's bill is heard 

Among the rustling leaves : 
The slow team creaks upon the road, 

The noisy whip resounds, 
The driver's voice, his carol blithe, 
The mower's stroke, his whetting scythe, 

Mix with the morning's sounds. 
Who would not rather take his seat 

Beneath these clumps of trees, 
The early dawn of day to greet, 

And catch the healthy breeze, 


Than on the silken couch of Sloth 

Luxurious to lie ? 
Who would not from life's dreary waste 
Snatch, when he could, with eager haste, 

An interval of joy? 

To him who simply thus recounts 

The morning's pleasures o'er, 
Fate dooms, ere long, the scene must close, 

To ope on him no more. 
Yet, Morning ! unrepining still 

He'll greet thy beams awhile ; 
And surely thou, when o'er his grave 
Solemn the whispering willows wave, 

Wilt sweetly on him smile ; 
And the pale glow-worm's pensive light 
Will guide his ghostly walks in the drear moonless 


Addressed (during Illness) to a Lady. 

Dear Fanny, I mean, now I'm laid on the shelf, 

To give you a sketch — aye, a sketch of myself. 

? Tis a pitiful subject, I frankly confess, 

And one it would puzzle a painter to dress ; 

But however, here goes, and as sure as a gun, 

I'll tell all my faults like a penitent nun ; 

For I know, for my Fanny, before I address her, 

She wont be a cynical father confessor. 

Come, come, 'twill not do ! put that purling brow down; 

You can't, for the soul of you, learn how to frown. 

Well, first I premise, it's my honest conviction, 

That my breast is a cliaos of all contradiction ; 


Religious — Deistic — now loyal and warm, 

Then a dagger-drawn democrat hot for reform : 

This moment a fop, that, sententious as Titus ; 

Democritus now, and anon Heraclitus ; 

Now laughing and pleased, like a child with a rattle ; 

Then vex'd to the soul with impertinent tattle ; 

Now moody and sad, now unthinking and gay, 

To all points of the compass I veer in a day. 

I'm proud and disdainful to Fortune's gay child, 

But to Poverty's offspring submissive and mild : 

As rude as a boor, and as rough in dispute; 

Then as for politeness — oh ! dear — I'm a brute! 

I shew no respect where I never can feel it ; 

And as for contempt, take no pains to conceal it ; 

And so in the suite, by these laudable ends, 

I've a great many foes, and a very few friends. 
And yet, my dear Fanny, there are who can feel 

That this proud heart of mine is not fashion'd like 

It can love (can it not?) — it can hate, I am sure ; 

And it's friendly enough, though in friends it be poor. 

For itself though it bleed not, for others it bleeds ; 

If it have not ripe virtues, I'm sure it's the seeds : 

And though far from faultless, or even so-so, 
I think it may pass as our worldly things go. 

Well, I've told you my frailties without any glossy. 
Then as to my virtues, I'm quite at a loss ! 
I think I'm devout, and yet I can't say, 
But in process of time I may get the wrong way. 
I'm a general lover, if that's commendation, 
And yet can't withstand, you know whose fascination. 
But I find that amidst all my tricks and devices, 
In fishing for virtues, I'm pulling up vices ; 
So as for the good, why, if I possess it,' 

• I am not yet learned enough to express it. 


You yourself must examine the lovelier side, 
And after your every art you have tried, 
Whatever my faults, I may venture to say, 
Hypocrisy never will come in your way. 
I am upright, I hope ; I am downright, I'm clear! 
And I think my worst foe must allow I'm sincere ; 
And if ever sincerity glow'd in my breast, 
Tis now when I swear * * 


Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Not in thy terrors clad : 
Come in thy meekest, saddest guise ; 
Thy chastening rod but terrifies 
The restless and the bad. 
But I recline 
Beneath thy shrine 
And round my brow resign'd, thy peaceful cypress twine. 

Though Fancy flies away 
Before thy hollow tread, 
Yet meditation, in her cell, 
Hears, with faint eye, the lingering knell, 
That tells her hopes are dead ; 
And though the tear 
By chance appear, 
Yet she can smile, and say, My all was not laid here. 

Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Though from Hope's summit huiTd, 
Still, rigid nurse, thou art forgiven, 
For thou severe wert sent from heaven 
To wean me from the world : 
To turn mine eye 
From vanity, 
And point to scenes of bliss that never, never die. 


What is this passing scene? 

A peevish April day ! 
A little sun — a little rain, 
And then night sweeps along the plain, 
And all things fade away. 
Man (soon diseuss'd) 
Yields up his trust, 
And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust. 

Oh, what is Beauty's power ? 

It flourishes and dies : 
Will the cold earth its silence break, 
To tell how soft how smooth a cheek 
Beneath its surface lies ? 
Mute, mute is all 
O'er Beauty's fall ; 
Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her 

The most beloved on earth 

Not long survives to-day; 
So music past is obsolete, 
And yet 'twas sweet, 'twas passing sweet, 
But now 'tis gone away. 
Thus does the shade 
In memory fade, 
When in forsaken tomb the form beloved is laid. 

Then since this world is vain, 

And volatile, and fleet, 
Why should I lay up earthly joys, 
Where dust corrupts, and moth destroys, 
And cares and sorrows eat? 
Why fly from ill 
With anxious skill, 

tWhen soon this hand will freeze, this throbbing heart 
be still? 


Come, Disappointment, come ! 

Thou art not stern to me ; 
Sad monitress ! I own thy sway, 
A votary sad in early day, 
r I bend by knee to thee. 

From sun to sun 
My race will run, 
I only bow, and say, My God, Thy will be done ! 

On another paper are a few lines, written probably in the fresh- 
ness of his disappointment. 

I dream no more — the vision flies away, 

And Disappointment * * * * 

There fell my hopes — I lost my all in this, 

My cherish'd all of visionary bliss. 

Now hope farewell, farewell all joys below: 

Now welcome sorrow, and now welcome woe. 

Plunge me in glooms * * * * 

His health soon sunk under these habits ; he became pale and 
thin, and at length had a sharp fit of sickness. On his recovery, 
he wrote the following lines in the churchyard of his favourite 
village : 


Here would I wish to sleep. — This is the spot 
Which I have long mark'd out to lay my bones in; 
Tired out and wearied with the riotous world, 
Beneath this yew I would be sepulchred. 
It is a lovely spot ! The sultry sun, 
From his meridian height, endeavours vainly 
To pierce the shadowy foliage, while the zephyr 
Comes wafting gently o'er the rippling Trent, 
And plays about my wan cheek. 'Tis a nook 
Most pleasant. Such a one perchance, did Gray 
Frequent, as with a vagrant muse he wanton'd. 


Come, I will sit me down and meditate, 
For I am wearied with my summer's walk ; 
And here I may repose in silent ease ; 
And thus, perchance, when life's sad journey's o'er, 
My harass'd soul, in this same spot, may find 
The haven of its rest — beneath this sod 
Perchance it may sleep sweetly, sound as death. 

I would not have my corpse cemented down 
With brick and stone, defrauding the poor earth-worm 
Of its predestined dues; no, I would lie 
Beneath a little hillock, grass o'ergrown, 
Swathed down with osiers, just as sleep the cottiers. 
Yet may not undislinguisJi d be my grave ; 
But there at eve may some congenial soul 
Duly resort, and shed a pious tear, 
The good man's benison — no more I ask. 
And, oh! (if heavenly beings may look down 
From where, with cherubim, inspired they sit, 
Upon this little dim-discover'd spot, 
The earth), then will I cast a glance below, 
On him who thus my ashes shall embalm ; 
And I will weep too, and will bless the wanderer, 
Wishing he may not long be doom'd to pine 
In this low-thoughted world of darkling woe, 
But that, ere long, he reach his kindred skies. 

Yet 'twas a silly thought, as if the body, 
Mouldering beneath the surface of the earth, 
Could taste the sweets of summer scenery, 
And feel the freshness of the balmy breeze ! 
Yet nature speaks within the human bosom, 
And, spite of reason, bids it look beyond 
His narrow verge of being, and provide 
A decent residence for its clayey shell, 
Endear'd to it by time. And who would lay 


His body in the city burial-place, 

To be thrown up again by some rude sexton, 

And yield its narrow house another tenant, 

Ere the moist flesh had mingled with the dust, 

Ere the tenacious hair had left the scalp, 

Exposed to insult lewd, and wantonness? 

No, I will lay me in the village ground ; 

There are the dead respected. The poor hind, 

Unlettered as he is, would scorn t' invade 

The silent resting-place of death. I've seen 

The labourer, returning from his toil, 

Here stay his steps, and call his children round, 

And slowly spell the rudely sculptured rhymes, 

And, in his rustic manner, moralize. 

I've mark'd with what a silent awe he'd spoken, 

With head uncover'd, his respectful manner, 

And all the honours which he paid the grave, 

And thought on cities, where even cemeteries, 

Bestrew'd with all the emblems of mortality, 

Are not protected from the drunken insolence 

Of wassailers profane, and wanton havoc. 

Grant, Heaven, that here my pilgrimage may close! 

Yet, if this be denied, where'er my bones 

May lie — or in the city's crowded bounds, 

Or scatter'd wide o'er the huge sweep of waters, 

Or left a prey on some deserted shore 

To the rapacious cormorant, — yet still, 

(For why should sober reason cast away 

A thought which soothes the soul?) yet still my spirit 

Shall wing its way to these my native regions, 

And hover o'er this spot. Oh, then I'll think 

Of times when I was seated 'neath this yew 

In solemn rumination ; and will smile 

With joy that I have got my long'd release. 




I sing the Cross ! — Ye white-robed angel choirs, 

Who know the chords of harmony to sweep, 
Ye, who o'er holy David's varying wires 

Were wont, of old, your hovering watch to keep, 

Oh, now descend ! and with your harpings deep 
Pouring sublime the full symphonious stream 

Of music, such as soothes the saint's last sleep, 
Awake my slumbering spirit from its dream, 
And teach me how to exalt the high mysterious theme. 

Mourn ! Salem, mourn ! low lies thine humbled state, 
Thy glittering fanes are levell'd with the ground! 

Fallen is thy pride ! — Thine halls are desolate ! 
Where erst was heard the timbrel's sprightly sound, 
And frolic pleasures tripp'd the nightly round, 

There breeds the wild fox lonely, — and aghast 
Stands the mute pilgrim at the void profound, 

Unbroke by noise, save when the hurrying blast 
Sighs, like a spirit, deep along the cheerless waste. 

It is for this, proud Solyma ! thy towers 
Lie crumbling in the dust; for this forlorn 

Thy genius wails along thy desert bowers, 

While stern Destruction laughs, as if in scorn, 
That thou didst dare insult God's eldest born ; 

And, with most bitter persecuting ire, 

Pursued his footsteps till the last day-dawn 

Rose on his fortunes — and thou saw'st the fire 

That came to light the world, in one great flash expire. 

Oh ! for a pencil dipp'd in living light, 
To paint the agonies that Jesus bore ! 

Oh ! for the long-lost harp of Jesse's might, 

To hymn the Saviour's praise from shore to shore; 


While seraph hosts the lofty psean pour, 
And Heaven enraptured lists the loud acclaim ! 

May a frail mortal dare the theme explore ? 
May he to human ears his weak song frame ? 
Oh ! may he dare to sing Messiah's glorious name ? 

Spirits of pity ! mild Crusaders, come ! 

Buoyant on clouds around your minstrel float, 
And give him eloquence who else were dumb, 

And raise to feeling and to fire his note! 

And thou, Urania ! who dost still devote 
Thy nights and days to God's eternal shrine, 

Whose mild eyes 'lumined what Isaiah wrote, 
Throw o'er thy Bard that solemn stole of thine, 
And clothe him for the fight with energy divine. 

When from the temple's lofty summit prone, 
Satan o'ercome, fell down ; and throned there, 

The Son of God confess'd, in splendour shone ; 
Swift as the glancing sunbeam cuts the air, 
Mad with defeat, and yelling his despair, 

"*!> ^F ^v* TF 1 

Fled the stern king of Hell— and with the glare 
Of gliding meteors, ominous and red, 
Shot athwart the clouds that gather'd round his head. 

Right o'er the Euxine, and that gulf which late 

The rude Massagetse adored, he bent 
His northering course, while round, in dusky state, 

The assembling fiends their summon'd troops aug- 
ment ; 

Clothed in dark mists, upon their way they went, 
While, as they pass'd to regions more severe, 

The Lapland sorcerer swell'd with loud lament 
The solitary gale, and, fill'd with fear, 
The howling dogs bespoke unholy spirits near. 


Where the North Pole, in moody solitude, 

Spreads her huge tracks and frozen wastes around, 

There ice-rocks piled aloft, in order rude, 
Form a gigantic hall, where never sound 
Startled dull Silence' ear, save when profound 

The smoke-frost mutter'd : there drear Cold for aye 
Thrones him, — and, fix'd on his primeval mound, 

Ruin, the giant, sits ; while stern Dismay 
Stalks like some woe-struck man along the desert way. 

In that drear spot, grim Desolation's lair, 
No sweet remain of life encheers the sight ; 

The dancing heart's blood in an instant there 
Would freeze to marble. — Mingling day and night 
(Sweet interchange, which makes our labours light), 

Are there unknown ; while in the summer skies 
The sun rolls ceaseless round his heavenly height, 

Nor ever sets, till from the scene he flies, 
And leaves the long bleak night of half the year to 

'Twas there, yet shuddering from the burning lake, 
Satan had fix'd their next consistory, 

When parting last he fondly hoped to shake 
Messiah's constancy, — and thus to free 
The powers of darkness from the dread decree 

Of bondage brought by him, and circumvent 
The unerring ways of Him whose eye can see 

The womb of Time, and, in its embryo pent, 
Discern the colours clear of every dark event. 

Here the stern monarch stay'd his rapid flight, 
And his thick hosts, as with a jetty pall, 

Hovering obscured the north star's peaceful light, 
Waiting on wing their haughty chieftain's call. 
q 3 


He, meanwhile, downward, with a sullen fall, 
Dropp'd on the echoing ice. Instant the sound 

Of their broad vans was hush'd, and o'er the hall, 
Vast and obscure, the gloomy cohorts bound, 
Till, wedged in ranks, the seat of Satan they surround. 

High on a solium of the solid wave, 

Prank' d with rude shapes by the fantastic frost, 
He stood in silence ; — now keen thoughts engrave 

Dark figures on his front ; and, tempest-toss'd, 

He fears to say that every hope is lost. 
Meanwhile the multitude as death are mute : 

So, ere the tempest on Malacca's coast, 
Sweet Quiet, gently touching her soft lute, 
Sings to the whispering waves the prelude to dispute. 
At length collected, o'er the dark divan 

The arch-fiend glanced, as by the Boreal blaze 
Their downcast brows were seen, and thus began 

His fierce harangue : — * Spirits ! our better days 

Are now elasped ; Moloch and Belial's praise 
Shall sound no more in groves by myriads trod. 

Lo ! the light breaks ! — The astonished nations 
For us is lifted high the avenging rod! 
For, spirits, this is He, — this is the Son of God !' 

What then ! — shall Satan's spirit crouch to fear ? 

Shall he who shook the pillars of God's reign 
Drop from his unnerved arm the hostile spear ? 

Madness ! The very thought would make me fain 

To tear the spanglets from yon gaudy plain, 
And hurl them at their Maker ! Fix'd as fate 

I am his foe ! — Yea, though his pride should deign 
To soothe mine ire with half his regal state, 
Still would I burn with fix'd, unalterable hate. 


Now hear the issue of my curs'd emprise, 
When from our last sad synod I took flight, 

Buoy'd with false hopes, in some deep-laid disguise, 
To tempt this vaunted Holy One to write 
His own self-condemnation ; in the plight 

Of aged man in the lone wilderness, 

Gathering a few stray sticks, I met his sight, 

And leaning on my staff, seem'd much to guess 
What cause could mortal bring to that forlorn recess. 

Then thus in homely guise I featly framed 

My lowly speech: — ' Good Sir, what leads this way 
Your wandering steps? must hapless chance be 

That you so far from haunt of mortals stray ? 

Here have I dwelt for many a lingering day, 
Nor trace of man have seen. But how ! methought 

Thou wert the youth on whom God's holy ray 
I saw descend in Jordan, when John taught 
That he to fallen man the saving promise brought V 

1 I am that man/ said Jesus ; ' 1 am He ! 

But truce to questions — Canst thou point my feet 
To some low hut, if haply such there be 

In this wild labyrinth, where I may meet 

With homely greeting, and may sit and eat? 
For forty days I have tarried fasting here, 

Hid in the dark glens of this lone retreat, 
And now I hunger ; and my fainting ear [near.' 

Longs much to greet the sound of fountains gushing 

Then thus I answer'd wily : — ' If, indeed, 

Son of our God thou be'st, what need to seek 

For food from men ? — Lo ! on these flint stones feed, 
Bid them be bread ! Open thy lips and speak, 


And living rills from yon parch'd rock will break.' 
Instant as I had spoke, his piercing eye 

Fix'd on my face ; — the blood forsook my cheek, 
I could not bear his gaze ; — my mask slipp'd by ; 
I would have shunn'd his look, but had not power to fly. 

Then he rebuked me with the holy word — 
Accursed sounds ! But now my native pride 

Return'd, and by no foolish qualm deterr'd, 
I bore him from the mountain's woody side, 
Up to the summit, where extending wide 

Kingdoms and cities, palaces and fanes, 

Bright sparkling in the sunbeams, were descried, 

And in gay dance, amid luxuriant plains, 
Tripp'd to the jocund reed the emasculated swains. 

' Behold,' I cried, ' these glories ! scenes divine ! 

Thou whose sad prime in pining want decays; 
And these, O rapture ! these shall all be thine, 

If thou wilt give to me, not God, the praise. 

Hath he not given to indigence thy days ? 
Is not thy portion peril here and pain? 

Oh ! leave his temples, shun his wounding ways, 
Seize the tiara ! these mean weeds disdain ; 
Kneel, kneel, thou man of woe, and peace and splen- 
dour gain.' 

' Is it not written/ sternly he replied, 

' Tempt not the Lord thy God !' Frowning he 
And instant sounds, as of the ocean tide, [spake, 

Rose, and the whirlwind from its prison brake, 

And caught me up aloft, till in one flake, 
The sidelong volley met my swift career, [quake 

And smote me earthward. — Jove himself might 
At such a fall ; my sinews crack'd, and near, 
Obscure and dizzy sounds seem'd ringing in mine ear. 


Senseless and stunn'd I lay ; till, casting round 
My half unconscious gaze, I saw the foe 

Borne on a car of roses to the ground, 
By volant angels ; and as sailing slow 
He sunk the hoary battlement below, 

While on the tall spire slept the slant sunbeam, 
Sweet on the enamour'd zephyr was the flow 

Of heavenly instruments. Such strains oft seem, 
On star-light hill, to soothe the Syrian shepherd's 

I saw blaspheming. Hate renew'd my strength ; 
I smote the ether with my iron wing, 

And left the accursed scene. — Arrived at length 
In these drear halls, to ye, my peers ! I bring 
The tidings of defeat. Hell's haughty king 

Thrice vanquished, baffled, smitten, and dismay'd ! 

shame ! Is this the hero who could fling 
Defiance at his Maker, while array'd, 

High o'er the walls of light rebellion's banners play'd ! 

Yet shall not Heaven's bland minions triumph long ; 

Hell yet shall have revenge. — O glorious sight, 
Prophetic visions on my fancy throng, 

1 see wild Agony's lean finger write 

Sad figures on his forehead !— Keenly bright 
Revenge's flambeau burns ! Now in his eyes 

Stand the hot tears, — immantled in the night, 
Lo ! he retires to mourn ! — I hear his cries ! 
He faints — he falls — and lo ! — 'tis true, ye powers, he 

Thus spake the chieftain, — and, as if he view'd 
The scene he pictured, with his foot advanced 

And chest inflated, motionless he stood, 
While under his uplifted shield he glanced, 


With straining eye-ball fix'd, like one entranced, 
On viewless air ; — thither the dark platoon [danced 

Gazed wondering, nothing seen, save when there 
The northern flash, or fiend late fled from noon, 
Darken'd the disk of the descending moon, 

Silence crept stilly through the ranks — The breeze 
Spake most distinctly. As the sailor stands, 

When all the midnight gasping from the seas 
Break boding sobs, and to his sight expands 
High on the shrouds the spirit that commands 

The ocean-farer's life ; so stiff — so sear 

Stood each dark power; — while through their nu- 
merous bands 

Beat not one heart, and mingling hope and fear 
Now told them all was lost, now bade revenge appear. 

One there was there, whose loud defying tongue 
Nor hope nor fear had silenced, but the swell 

Of over-boiling malice. Utterance long 

His passion mock'd, and long he strove to tell 
His labouring ire ; still syllable none fell 

From his pale quivering lip, but died away 
For very fury; from each hollow cell 

Half sprang his eyes, that cast a flamy ray, 

A n( j ****** 

' This comes,' at length burst from the furious chief, 
' This comes of distant counsels ! Here behold 

The fruits of wily cunning ! the relief 
Which coward policy would fain unfold, 
To soothe the powers that warr'd with Heaven of 

O wise ! O potent! O sagacious snare ! [old ! 

And lo ! our prince — the mighty and the bold, 

There stands he, spell-struck, gaping at the air, 
While Heaven subverts his reign, and plants her 
standard there.' 


Here, as recovered, Satan fix'd his eye 

Full on the speaker ; dark it was and stern ; 
He wrapp'd his black vest round him gloomily, 

And stood like one whom weightiest thoughts 

Him Moloch mark'd, and strove again to turn 
His soul to rage. ' Behold, behold/ he cried, 

( The lord of Hell, who bade these legions spurn 
Almighty rule— behold he lays aside 
The spear of just revenge, and shrinks, by man defied.' 

Thus ended Moloch, and his [burning] tongue 
Hung quivering, as if [mad] to quench its heat 

In slaughter. So, his native wilds among, 
The famish'd tiger pants, when, near his seat, 
Press'd on the sands, he marks the traveller's feet. 

Instant low murmurs rose, and many a sword 
Had from its scabbard sprung; but toward the 

Of the arch-fiend all turn'd with one accord, [seat 
As loud he thus harangued the sanguinary horde. 

'Ye powers of Hell, I am no coward. I proved this 
of old. Who led your forces against the armies of Je- 
hovah 1 ? Who coped with Ithuriel and the thunders 
of the Almighty ? Who, when stunned and confused 
ye lay on the burning lake, who first awoke, and col- 
lected your scattered powers ? Lastly, who led you 
across the unfathomable abyss to this delightful world, 
and established that reign here which now totters to 
its base? How, therefore, dares yon treacherous fiend 
to cast a stain on Satan's bravery ? he who preys only 
on the defenceless — who sucks the blood of infants, 
and delights only in acts of ignoble cruelty and un- 
equal contention? Away with the boaster who never 


joins in action, but, like a cormorant, hovers over the 
field, to feed upon the wounded, and overwhelm the 
dying. True bravery is as remote from rashness as 
from hesitation ; let us counsel coolly, but let us exe- 
cute our counselled purposes determinedly. In power 
we have learned, by that experiment which lost us 
heaven, that we are inferior to the Thunder-bearer: 
— In subtlety — in subtlety alone we are his equals. 
Open war is impossible. 

' Thus we shall pierce our Conqueror, through the race 
Which as himself he loves ; thus if we fall, 

We fall not with the anguish, the disgrace 
Of falling unrevenged. The stirring call 
Of vengeance wrings within me ! Warriors all, 

The word is vengeance, and the spur despair. 

Away with coward wiles ! Death's coal-black pall 

Be now our standard ! — Be our torch the glare 
Of cities fired ! our fifes, the shrieks that fill the air !' 

Him answering rose Mecashphim, who of old, 
Far in the silence of Chaldea's groves, 

Was worshipp'd, god of Fire, with charms untold 
And mystery. His wandering spirit roves, 
Now vainly searching for the flame it loves, 

And sits and mourns like some white-robed sire, 
Where stood his temple, and where fragrant cloves 

And cinnamon upheap'd the sacred pyre, 
And nightly magi watch'd the everlasting fire. 

He waved his robe of flame, he cross'd his breast, 
And sighing— his papyrus scarf survey 'd, 

Woven with dark characters ; then thus address'd 
The troubled council : 


Thus far have I pursued my solemn theme 

With self-rewarding toil ; thus far have sung 
Of godlike deeds, far loftier than beseem 

The lyre which I in early days have strung ; 

And now my spirits faint, and I have hung 
The shell, that solaced me in saddest hour, 

On the dark cypress ! and the strings which rung 
With Jesus' praise, their harpings now are o'er, 
Or, when the breeze comes by, moan, and are heard 
no more. 

And must the harp of Judah sleep again t 

Shall I no more re-animate the lay ? 
Oh ! thou who visitest the sons of men, 

Thou who dost listen when the humble pray, 

One little space prolong my mournful day ! 
One little lapse suspend thy last decree ! 

I am a youthful traveller in the way, 
And this slight boon would consecrate to thee, 
Ere I with Death shake hands, and smile that I am free. 

* * * * 

* * * * 



Unhappy White !* while life was in its spring, 
And thy young muse just waved her joyous wing, 
The spoiler came ; and all thy promise fair 
Has sought the grave, to sleep for ever there. 
Oh ! what a noble heart was here undone, 
When Science' self destroy'd her favourite son I 
Yes ! she too much indulged thy fond pursuit, 
She sow'd the seeds, but death has reap'd the fruit. 
'Twas thine own genius gave the final blow, 
And help'd to plant the wound that laid thee low. 
So the struck eagle, stretch'd upon the plain, 
No more through rolling clouds to soar again, 
View'd his own feather on the fatal dart, 
Which wing'd the shaft that quiver'd in his heart. 
Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel 
He nursed the pinion which impell'd the steel ; 
While the same plumage that had warm'd his nest, 
Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast. 

* Henry Kirke White died at Cambridge in October, 1806, in 
consequence of too much exertion in the pursuit of studies that 
would have matured a mind which disease and poverty could not 
impair, and which death itself destroyed rather than subdued: 
His poems abound in such beauties as must impress the reader 
with the liveliest regret that so short a period was allotted to ta- 
lents which would have dignified even the sacred functions he was 
destined to assume. 



Presented to me by his brother, J. N. White. 

Bard of brief days, but ah, of deathless fame ! 

While on these awful leaves my fond eyes rest, 

On which thine late have dwelt, thy hand late press'd, 
I pause; and gaze regretful on thy name. 
By neither chance nor envy, time nor flame, 

Be it from this its mansion dispossess'd ! 

But thee Eternity clasps to her breast, 
And in celestial splendour thrones thy claim. 

No more with mortal pencil shalt thou trace 

An imitative radiance :* thy pure lyre 
Springs from our changeful atmosphere's embrace, 

And beams and breathes in empyreal fire : 
Th' Homeric and Miltonian sacred tone 
Responsive hail that lyre congenial to their own. 

Bury, 11th Jan. 1807. C. L. 



If worth, if genius, to the world are dear, 
To Henry's shade devote no common tear. 
His worth on no precarious tenure hung, - 
From genuine piety his virtues sprung : 
If pure benevolence, if steady sense, 
Can to the feeling heart delight dispense ; 
If all the highest efforts of the mind, 
Exalted, noble, elegant, refined, 
Call for fond sympathy's heart-felt regret, 
Ye sons of genius pay the mournful debt: 

* Alluding to his pencilled sketch of a head surrounded with a 

R 2 


His friends can truly speak how large his claim, 
And ' Life was only wanting to his fame.' 
Art Thou, indeed, dear youth, for ever fled — 
So quickly number'd with the silent dead? 
Too sure I read it in the downcast eye, 
Hear it in mourning friendship's stifled sigh. 
Ah ! could esteem, or admiration, save 
So dear an object from th' untimely grave, 
This transcript faint had not essay'd to tell 
The loss of one beloved, revered so well. 
Vainly I try, even eloquence were weak, 
The silent sorrow that I feel, to speak. 
No more my hours of pain thy voice will cheer, 
And bind my spirit to this lower sphere ; 
Bend o'er my suffering frame with gentle sigh, 
And bid new fire relume my languid eye : 
No more the pencil's mimic art command, 
And with kind pity guide my trembling hand ; 
Nor dwell upon the page in fond regard, 
To trace the meaning of the Tuscan bard. 
Vain all the pleasures Thou can'st not inspire, 
And ' in my breast th' imperfect joys expire.' 
I fondly hoped thy hand might grace my shrine, 
And little dream'd I should have wept o'er thine : 
In Fancy's eye methought I saw thy lyre, 
With virtue's energies each bosom fire ; 
I saw admiring nations press around, 
Eager to catch the animating sound : 
And when, at length, sunk in the shades of night, 
To brighter worlds thy spirit wing'd its flight, 
Thy country hail'd thy venerated shade, 
And each graced honour to thy memory paid. 
Such was the fate hope pictur'd to my view — 
But who, alas ! e'er found hope's visions true? 


And, ah ! a dark presage, when last we met, 
Sadden'd the social hour with deep regret ; 
When thou thy portrait from the minstrel drew, 
The living Edwin starting on my view- 
Silent, I ask'd of Heaven a lengthened date ; 
His genius thine, but not like thine his fate. 
Shuddering I gazed, and saw too sure reveal'd, 
The fatal truth, by hope till then conceal'd. 
Too strong the portion of celestial flame 
For its weak tenement, the fragile frame ; 
Too soon for us it sought its native sky, 
And soar'd impervious to the mortal eye ; 
Like some clear planet, shadow'd from our sight, 
Leaving behind long tracks of lucid light : 
So shall thy bright example fire each youth 
With love of virtue, piety, and truth. 
Long o'er thy loss shall grateful Granta mourn, 
And bid her sons revere thy favour'd urn. 
When thy loved flower ' Spring's victory makes known,' 
The primrose pale shall bloom for thee alone : 
Around thy urn the rosemary we'll spread, 
Whose ' tender fragrance,' — emblem of the dead — 
Shall ' teach the maid, whose bloom no longer lives,' 
That ' virtue every perish'd grace survives.' 
Farewell! sweet moralist ; heart-sickening grief 
Tells me in duty's paths to seek relief, 
With surer aim on faith's strong pinions rise, 
And seek hope's vanish'd anchor in the skies, 
Yet still on thee shall fond remembrance dwell, 
And to the world thy worth delight to tell : 
Though well I feel unworthy Thee the lays 
That to thy memory weeping friendship pays. 





Ye gentlest gales ! oh, hither waft, 

On airy undulating sweeps, 
Your frequent sighs, so passing soft, 

Where he, the youthful Poet, sleeps ! 
He breathed the purest, tenderest sigh, 
The sigh of sensibility. 
And thou shalt lie, his favourite flower, 
Pale primrose, on his grave reclined : 
Sweet emblem of his fleeting hour, 

And of his pure, his spotless mind! 
Like thee he sprung in lowly vale ; 
And felt, like thee, the trying gale. 
Nor hence thy pensive eye seclude, 
Oh thou, the fragrant rosemary, 
Where he, ' in marble solitude, 

So peaceful, and so deep/ doth lie ! 
His harp prophetic sung to thee 
In notes of sweetest minstrelsy. 
Ye falling dews ! oh, ever leave 

Your crystal drops these flowers to steep : 
At earliest morn, at latest eve, 

Oh let them for their Poet weep ! 
For tears bedew'd his gentle eye, 
The tears of heavenly sympathy. 
Thou western sun, effuse thy beams ; 
For he was wont to pace the glade, 
To watch in pale uncertain gleams, 

The crimson-zoned horizon fade — 
Thy last, thy setting radiance pour, 
Where he is set to rise no more. 



And is the minstrel's voyage o'er ? 

And is the star of genius fled? 
And will his magic harp no more, 

Mute in the mansions of the dead, 
Its strains seraphic pour? 

A pilgrim in this world of woe, 
Condemn'd, alas ! awhile to stray, 

Where bristly thorns, where briars grow, 
He bade, to cheer the gloomy way, 

Its heavenly music flow. 

And oft he bade, by fame inspired, 
Its wild notes seek the ethereal plain, 

Till angels, by its music fired, 

Have, listening, caught th' ecstatic strain, 

Have wonder'd, and admired. 

But now secure on happier shores, 
With choirs of sainted souls he sings ; 

His harp th' Omnipotent adores, 

And from its sweet, its silver strings 

Celestial music pours. 

And though on earth no more he'll weave 
That lay that's fraught with magic fire, 
Yet oft shall fancy hear at eve 

His now exalted, heavenly lyre 
In rounds iEolian grieve. 
B. Stoke. JUVENIS. 




What is this world at best, 
Though deck'd in vernal bloom, 
By hope and youthful fancy dress'd, 
What, but a ceaseless toil for rest, 
A passage to the tomb? 
If flowerets strew 
The avenue, 
Though fair, alas ! how fading, and how few. 

And every hour comes arm'd 
By sorrow, or by woe : 
Conceal'd beneath its little wings, 
A scythe the soft-shod pilferer brings, 
To lay some comfort low ; 
Some tie t' unbind, 
By love entwined, 
Some silken bond that holds the captive mind. 

And every month displays 
The ravages of time ; 
Faded the flowers ! — The Spring is past! 
The scatter'd leaves, the wintry blast, 
Warn to a milder clime: 
The songsters flee 
The leafless tree, 
And bear to happier realms their melody. 

Henry ! the world no more 

Can claim thee for her own! 
In purer skies thy radiance beams ! 
Thy lyre's employ'd on nobler themes 

Before th' eternal throne : 


Yet, spirit dear, 

Forgive the tear [here. 

Which those must shed who're doom'd to linger 

Although a stranger, I 
In friendship's train would weep : 
Lost to the world, alas ! so young, 
And must thy lyre, in silence hung, 
On the dark cypress sleep ? 
The poet, all 
Their friend may call ; 
And Nature's self attends his funeral. 

Although with feeble wing 
Thy flight I would pursue, 
With quicken'd zeal, with humbled pride, 
Alike our object, hopes, and guide, 
One heaven alike in view ; 
True, it was thine 
To tower, to shine ; 
But I may make thy milder virtues mine. 

If Jesus own my name 
(Though fame pronounced it never), 
Sweet spirit, not with thee alone, 
But all whose absence here I moan, 
Circling with harps the golden throne, 
I shall unite for ever : 
At death then why 

Tremble or sigh ? [die ! 

Oh ! who would wish to live, but he who fears to 
Dec. 5. 1807, JOSIAH CONDER. 




Ah ! once again the long-left wires among, 
Truants the Muse to weave her requiem song ; 
With sterner lore now busied, erst the lay 
Cheer'd my dark morn of manhood, wont to stray 
O'er fancy's fields, in quest of musky flower; 

To me nor fragrant less, though barr'd from view 
And courtship of the world : hail'd was the hour 

That gave me, dripping fresh with nature's dew, 
Poor Henry's budding beauties — to a clime 

Hapless transplanted, whose exotic ray 

Forced their young vigour into transient day, 
And drain'd the stalk that rear'dthem ! and shall Time 
Trample these orphan blossoms ? No ! they breathe 
Still lovelier charms — for Southey culls the wreath? 

Oxford, Dec. 17, 1807. 



' 'Tis now the dead of night/ and I will go 

To where the brook soft-murmuring glides along 
In the still wood ; yet does the plaintive song 

Of Philomela through the welkin flow ; 

And while pale Cynthia carelessly doth throw 
Her dewy beams the verdant boughs among, 
Will sit beneath some spreading oak-tree strong, 

And intermingle with the streams my woe : 


Hush'd in deep silence every gentle breeze ; 

No mortal breath disturbs the awful gloom ; 
Cold, chilling dew-drops trickle down the trees, 

And every flower withholds its rich perfume : 
'Tis sorrow leads me to that sacred ground 
Where Henry moulders in a sleep profound ! J. G. 



Darling of science and the muse, 
How shall a son of song refuse 

To shed a tear for thee ? 
To us, so soon, for ever lost, 
What hopes, what prospects have been cross'd 

By Heaven's supreme decree ! 

How could a parent, love-beguiled, 
In life's fair prime resign a child 

So duteous, good, and kind? 
The warblers of the soothing strain 
Must string th' elegiac lyre in vain 

To soothe the wounded mind ! 

Yet Fancy, hovering round the tomb, 
Half envies while she mourns thy doom, 

Dear poet, saint, and sage ! 
Who into one short span, at best, 
The wisdom of an age compress'd, 

A patriarch's lengthen'd age! 

To him a genius sanctified, 
And purged from literary pride, 


A sacred boon was given : 
Chaste as the psalmist's harp, his lyre 
Celestial raptures could inspire 

And lift the soul to heaven. 

'Twas not the laurel earth bestows, 
'Twas not the praise from man that flows, 

With classic toil he sought : 
He sought the crown which martyrs wear, 
When rescued from a world of care ; 

Their spirit too he caught. 

Here come, ye thoughtless, vain, and gay, 
Who idly range in Folly's way, 

And learn the worth of time ; 
Learn ye, whose days have run to waste^ 
How to redeem this pearl at last, 

Atoning for your crime. 

This flower, that droop'd in one cold clime, 
Transplanted from the soil of time 

To immortality, 
In full perfection there shall bloom ; 
And those who now lament his doom 
Must bow to God's decree. 
London, 27th Feb. 1808. 


But art thou thus indeed ' alone?' 
Quite unbefriended — all unknown? 
And hast thou then his name forgot 
Who form'd thy frame, and fix'd thy lot ? 

Is not his voice in evening's gale ? 
Beams not with him the ' star' so pale ? 


Is there a leaf can fade and die, 
Unnoticed by his watchful eye ? 

Each fluttering hope — each anxious fear — 
Each lonely sigh — each silent tear — 
To thy Almighty Friend are known : 
And say'st thou, thou art '* all alone?' 




O, lost too soon ! accept the tear 
A stranger to thy memory pays ! 

Dear to the muse, to science dear, 
In the young morning of thy days ! 

All the wild notes that pity loved 
Awoke, responsive still to thee, 

While o'er the lyre thy fingers roved 
In softest, sweetest harmony. 

The chords that in the human heart 
Compassion touches as her own, 

Bore in thy symphonies a part — 
With them in perfect unison. 

Amidst accumulated woes, 

That premature afflictions bring, 

Submission's sacred hymn arose, 

Warbled from every mournful string. 

When o'er thy dawn the darkness spread, 
And deeper every moment grew ; 

When rudely round thy youthful head, 
The chilling blasts of sickness blew ; 


Religion heard no 'plainings loud, 
The sigh in secret stole from thee ; 

And pity, from the ' dropping cloud/ 
Sheds tears of holy sympathy. 

Cold is that heart in which were met 
More virtues than could ever die ; 

The morning-star of hope is set — 
The sun adorns another sky. 

O partial grief! to mourn the day 

So suddenly o'erclouded here, 
To rise with unextinguish'd ray — 

To shine in a superior sphere ! 

Oft genius early quits this sod, 
Impatient of a robe of clay, 
Spreads the light pinion, spurns the clod, 

And smiles, and soars, and steals away ! 
But more than genius urg'd thy flight, 
. And mark'd the way, dear youth, for thee : 
Henry sprang up to worlds of light, 
On wings of immortality ! 
Blackaeath Hill, 24th June, 1808, 


Too, too prophetic did thy wild note swell, 

Impassion'd minstrel ! when its pitying wail 
Sigh'd o'er the vernal primrose as it fell 

Untimely, wither'd by the northern gale.* 
Thou wert that flower of primrose and of prime ! 

Whose opening bloom, 'mid many an adverse blast, 
Charm'd the lone wanderer through this desert clime, 

But charm'd him with a rapture soon o'ercast, 
* See Clifton Grove, p. 26. 


To see thee languish into quick decay. 

Yet was not thy departing immature 1 
For ripe in virtue thou wert reft away, 

And pure in spirit, as the bless'd are pure ; 
Pure as the dew-drop, freed from earthly leaven, 

That sparkles, is exhaled, and blends with heaven !f 

T. Park. 

t Young, I think, says of Narcissa, ' she sparkled, was exhaled, 
and went to heaven.' 


s 2 



DEAR BROTHER, Nottingham, Sept. 1799. 

In consequence of your repeated solicitations, I now sit 
down to write to you, although I never received an an- 
swer to the last letter which I wrote, nearly six months 
ago ; but, as I never heard you mention it in any of my 
mother's letters, I am induced to think it has miscar- 
ried, or been mislaid in your office. 

It is now nearly four months since I entered into Mr. 
Coldham's office ; and it is with pleasure I can assure 
you, that I never yet found any thing disagreeable, but, 
on the contrary, every thing I do seems a pleasure to 
me, and for a very obvious reason, — it is a business 
which I like — a business which I chose before all 
others ; and I have two good-tempered, easy masters, 
who will, nevertheless, see that their business is done 
in a neat and proper manner. The study of the law is 
well known to be a dry, difficult task, and requires a com- 
prehensive, good understanding ; and I hope you will 
allow me (without charging me with egotism) to have 
a tolerable one ; and I trust with perseverance, and a 
very large law library to refer to, I shall be able to ac- 
complish the study of so much of the laws of England, 
and our system of jurisprudence, in less than five years, 
as to enable me to be a country attorney ; and then as I 
shall have two more years to serve, I hope I shall attain 
so much knowledge in all parts of the law, as to enable 
me, with a little study at the inns of court, to hold an ar- 
gument on the nice points in the law with the best attor- 


ney in the kingdom. A man that understands the law 
is sure to have business ; and in case I have no 
thoughts, in case that is, that I do not aspire to hold 
the honourable place of a barrister, I shall feel sure of 
gaining a genteel livelihood at the business to which I 
am articled. 

I attend at the office at eight in the morning, and 
leave at eight in the evening ; then attend my Latin 
until nine, which, you may be sure, is pretty close con- 

Mr. Coldham is clerk to the commercial commission- 
ers, which has occasioned us a deal of extraordinary 
work. I worked all Sunday, and until twelve o'clock 
on Saturday night, when they were hurried to give in 
the certificates to the bank. We had also a very trou- 
blesome cause last assizes — the Corporation versus 
Gee, which we (the attorneys for the corporation) lost. 
It was really a very fatiguing day (I mean the day on 
which it was tried). I never got any thing to eat, from 
five in the afternoon the preceding day, until twelve the 
next night, when the trial ended. 


DEAR BROTHER, Nottingham, 26th June, 1800. 


My mother has allowed me a good deal lately for books, 
and I have a large assortment (a retailer's phrase). But 
I hope you do not suppose they consist of novels ; — 
no — I have made a firm resolution never to spend above 
one hour at this amusement. Though I have been 
obliged to enter into this resolution in consequence of 
a vitiated taste acquired by reading romances, I do not 
intend to banish them entirely from my desk. After 
s 3 


long and fatiguing researches in Blackstone or Coke, 
when the mind becomes weak, through intense appli- 
cation, Tom Jones, or Robinson Crusoe, will afford a 
pleasing and necessary relaxation. 

Apropos^ — now we are speaking of Robinson Crusoe, 
I shall observe, that it is allowed to be the best novel 
for youth in the English language. De Foe, the au- 
thor, was a singular character ; but as I make no doubt 
you have read his life, I will not trouble you with any 
farther remarks. 

The books, which I now read with attention, are 
Blackstone, Knox's Essays, Plutarch, Chesterfield's 
Letters, four large volumes, Virgil, Homer, and Cicero, 
and several others. Blackstone and Knox, Virgil and 
Cicero, I have got ; the others I read out of Mr. Cold- 
ham's library. I have finished Rollin's Ancient His- 
tory, Blair's Lectures, Smith's Wealth of Nations, 
Hume's England, and British Nepos, lately. When I 
have read Knox, I will send it you, and recommend it 
to your attentive perusal ; it is a most excellent work. 
I also read now the British Classics, the common edi- 
tion of which I now take in ; it comes every fortnight; 
I dare say you have seen it; it is Cooke's edition. I 
would recommend you also to read these ; I will send 
them to you. I have got the Citizen of the World, 
Idler, Goldsmith's Essays, and part of the Rambler. 
I will send you soon the fourth number of the Monthly 
Preceptor. I am noticed as worthy of commendation, 
and as affording an encouraging prospect of future ex- 
cellence. — You will laugh. I have also turned poet, 
and have translated an Ode of Horace into English 
verse, also, for the Monthly Preceptor, but, unfortu- 
nately, when I sent it, I forgot the title, so it won't be 


I do not forsake the flowery paths of poesy, for that 
is my chief delight : I read the best poets. Mr. Cold- 
ham has got Johnson's complete set, with their lives ; 
these of course I read. 

With alittle drudgery, I read Italian — Have got some 
good Italian works, as Pastor Fido, &c. &c. I taught 
myself, and have got a grammar. 

I must now beg leave to return you my sincere thanks 
for your kind present. I like < La Bruyere the Less' 
very much ; I have read the original La Bruyere : I 
think him like Rouchefoucault. Madame de Genlis is 
a very able woman. 


But I must now attempt to excuse my neglect in not 
writing to you. First, I have been very busy with these 
essays and poems for the Monthly Preceptor. Second, 
I was rather angry at your last letter. I can bear any 
thing but a sneer, and it was one continued grin from 
beginning to end, as were all the notices you made of 
me in my mother's letters, and I could not, nor can I 
now, brook it. I could say much more, but it is very 
late, and must beg leave to wish you good night. 
I am, dear brother, 

Your affectionate friend, 


P. S. You may expect a regular correspondence from 
me in future, but no sneers ; and shall be very obliged 
by a long letter. 



DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, 25th June, 1800. 

You are inclined to flatterme when you compare my 
application with yours ; in truth, I am not half so as- 
siduous as you, and I am conscious I waste a deal of 
time unwittingly. But, in reading, I am upon the con- 
tinual search for improvement ; I thirst after knowledge, 
and though my disposition is naturally idle, I conquer 
it when reading a useful book. The plan which I pur- 
sued, in order to subdue my disinclination to dry books, 
was this, to begin attentively to peruse it, and continue 
this one hour every day ; the book insensibly, by this 
means, becomes pleasing to you ; and even when read- 
ing Blackstone's Commentaries, which are very dry, I 
lay down the book with regret. 

With regard to the Monthly Preceptor, I certainly 
shall be agreeable to your taking it in, as my only ob- 
jection was the extreme impatience which I feel to see 
whether my essays have been successful; but this may- 
be obviated by your speedy perusal, and not neglecting 
to forward it. But you must have the goodness not 
to begin till August, as my bookseller cannot stop it 
this month. 

tIF ?& 5>fc yfc vIf 

I had a ticket given me to the boxes, on Monday 
night, for the benefit of Campbell, from Drury-Lane, 
and there was a such a riot as never was experienced 
here before. He is a democrat, and the soldiers planned 
a riot in conjunction with the mob. We heard the shout- 
ing of the rabble in the street before the play was over ; 
the moment the curtain dropt, an officer went into the 


front box, and gave the word of command ; immediately 
about sixty troopers started up, and six trumpeters in 
the pit played ' God save the king.' The noise was as- 
tonishing. The officers in the boxes then drew their 
swords ; and at another signal the privates in the pit 
drew their bludgeons, which they had hitherto concealed, 
and attacked all indiscriminately, that had not a uni- 
form : the officers did the same with their swords, and 
the house was one continued scene of confusion ; one 
pistol was fired, and the ladies were fainting in the lobby. 
The outer doors were shut to keep out the mob, and the 
people jumped on the stage as a last resource. One of 
these noble officers, seeing one man stand in the pit with 
his hat on, jumped over the division, and cut him with 
his sword, which the man instantly wrenched from him 
and broke, whilst the officer sneaked back in disgrace. 
They then formed a troop, and having emptied the play- 
house, they scoured the streets with their swords, and 
returned home victorious. The players are, in conse- 
quence, dismissed; and we have informations in our 
office against the officers. 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, Michaelmas-day, 18C0. 

I cannot divine what, in an epistolary correspondence, 
can have such charms (with people who write only 
common-place occurrences) as to detach a man from 
his usual affairs, and make him waste time and paper 
on what cannot be of the least real benefit to his cor- 
respondent. Amongst relatives, certainly, there is 
always an incitement ; we always feel an anxiety for 
their welfare. But I have no friend so dear to me, as 


to cause me to take the trouble of reading his letters, 
if they only contained an account of his health, and the 
mere nothings of the day ; indeed, such a one would be 
unworthy of friendship. What then is requisite to make 
one's correspondence valuable ? I answer, sound sense. 
Nothing more is requisite; as to the style, one may very 
readily excuse its faults, if repaid by the sentiments. 
You have better natural abilities than many youth, but 
it is with regret I see that you will not give yourself 
the trouble of writing a good letter. There is hardly 
any species of composition (in my opinion) easier than 
the epistolary ; but, my friend, you never found any art, 
however trivial, that did not require some application at 
first. For if an artist, instead of endeavouring to sur- 
mount the difficulties which presented themselves, were 
to rest contented with mediocrity, how could he pos- 
sibly ever arrive at excellence? Thus 'tis with you; 
instead of that indefatigable perseverance which, in 
other cases, is a leading trait in your character, I hear 
you say, ' Ah, my poor brains were never formed for 
letter-writing — I shall never write a good letter,' or some 
such phrases ; and thus, by despairing of ever arriving 
at excellence, you render yourself hardly tolerable. 
You may, perhaps, think this art beneath your notice, 
or unworthy of your pains ; if so, you are assuredly 
mistaken, for there is hardly any thing which would 
contribute more to the advancement of a young man, 
or which is more engaging. 

You read, I believe, a good deal ; nothing could be 
more acceptable to me, or more improving to you, than 
making a part of your letters to consist of your senti- 
ments, and opinion of the books you peruse : you have 
no idea how beneficial this would be to yourself; andthat 
you are able to do it I am certain. One of the greatest 


impediments to good writing, is the thinking too much 
before you note down. This, I think, you are not en- 
tirely free from. I hope that by always writing the first 
idea that presents itself, you will soon conquer it; my 
letters are always the rough first draught, of course 
there are many alterations ; these you will excuse. 

I have written most of my letters to you in so neg- 
ligent a manner, that if you will have the goodness to 
return all you have preserved, sealed, I will peruse them, 
and all sentences worth preserving I will extract, and 

You observe, in your last, that your letters are read 
with contempt. — Do you speak as you think? 

You had better write again to Mr. . Between 

friends, the common forms of the world in writing letter 
for letter, need not be observed ; but never write three 
without receiving one in return, because in that case 
they must be thought unworthy of answer. 

We have been so busy lately, I could not answer 
yours sooner. — Once a month suppose we write to each 
other. If you ever find that my correspondence is not 
worth the trouble of carrying on, inform me of it, and 

it shall cease. 


P. S. If any expression in this be too harsh, excuse 
it. — I am not in an ill humour, recollect. 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, 11th April, 1801. 

On opening yours, I was highly pleased to find two and 
a half sheets of paper, and nothing could exceed my 
joy at so apparently a long letter, but, upon finding it 
consisted of sides filled after the rate of five words in 
a line, and nine lines in a page, I could not conceal my 
chagrin ; and I am sure I may very modestly say, that 


one of my ordinary pages contains three of yours : if 
you knew half the pleasure I feel in your correspond- 
ence, I am confident you would lengthen your letters. 
You tantalize me with the hopes of a prolific harvest, 
and I find, alas ! a thin crop, whose goodness only 
makes me lament its scantiness. 


I had almost forgot to tell you, that I have obtained 
the first prize (of a pair of Adams' twelve-inch globes, 
value three guineas) in the first class of the Monthly 
Preceptor. The subject was an imaginary tour from 
London to Edinburgh. It is printed consequently, and 
shall send it to you the very first opportunity. The 
proposals stated, that the essay was not to exceed 
three pages when printed — mine takes seven; therefore 
I am astonished they gave me the first prize. There 
was an extraordinary number of candidates ; and they 
said they never had a greater number of excellent ones, 
and they wished they could have g^ven thirty prizes. 
You will find it (in a letter) addressed to N , mean- 
ing yourself. 


Warton is a poet from whom I have derived the most 
exquisite pleasure and gratification. He abounds in 
sublimity and loftiness of thought, as well as expres- 
sion. His ' Pleasures of Melancholy' is truly a sublime 
poem. The following passage I particularly admire : 

' Nor undelightful in the solemn noon 

Of night, where, haply wakeful from my couch 

I start, lo, all is motionless around ! 

Roars not the rushing wind ; the sons of men, 

And every beast, in mute oblivion lie ; 

All Nature's hush'd in silence, and in sleep. 

Oh, then, how fearful is it to reflect, 

That through the still globe's awful solitude 

No being wakes but me !' 


How affecting are the latter lines ! it is impossible to 
withstand the emotions which rise on its perusal, and I 
envy not that man his insensibility who can read them 
with apathy. Many of the pieces of the Bible are 
written in this sublime manner : one psalm, I think the 
1 8th, is a perfect master-piece, and has been imitated 
by many poets. Compare these, or the above quoted 
from Warton, with the finest piece in Pope, and then 
judge of the rank which he holds as a poet. Another 
instance of the sublime in poetry I will give you, from 
Akenside's admirable t Pleasures of Imagination,' where, 
speaking of the soul, he says, she 

* Rides on the volley'd lightning through the heavens, 
And yoked with whirlwinds, and the northern blast, 
Sweeps the long tract of day.' 

Many of these instances of sublimity will occur to you 
in Thomson. 

James begs leave to present you with Bloomfield's 
Farmer's Boy. Bloomfield has no grandeur or height; 
he is a pastoral poet, and the simply sweet is what you 
are to expect from him ; nevertheless, his descriptions 
are sometimes little inferior to Thomson. 

* . * * * * * 

How pleased should I be, Neville, to have you with 
us at Nottingham ! Our fire-side would be delightful. 
— I should profit by your sentiments and experience, 
and you possibly might gain a little from my small book- 
ish knowledge. But I am afraid that time will never 
come ; your term of apprenticeship is nearly expired, 
and, in all appearance, the small residue that yet re- 
mains will be passed in hated London. When you are 
emancipated, you will have to mix in the bustle of the 
world, in all probability, also, far from home ; so that 



when we have just learnt how happy we might mutually 
make ourselves, we find scarcely a shadow of a proba- 
bility of ever having the opportunity. Well, well, it is 
in vain to resist the immutable decrees of fate. 

* * * * * * 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, April, 1801. 

As I know you will participate with me in the pleasure 
I receive from literary distinctions, I hasten to inform 
you, that my poetical Essay on Gratitude is printed in 
this month's Preceptor ; that my remarks on Warton 
are promised insertion in the next month's Mirror ; and 
that my Essay on Truth is printed in the present (April) 
Monthly Visitor. The Preceptor I shall not be able to 
send you until the end of this month. The Visitor you 
will herewith receive. The next month's Mirror I shall 
consequently buy. I wish it were not quite so expen- 
sive, as I think it a very good work. Benjamin Thom- 
son, Capel LofFt, Esq. Robert Bloomfield, Thomas Der- 
mody, Mr. Gilchrist, under the signature of Octavius, 
Mrs. Blore, a noted female writer, under the signature 
of Q. Z. are correspondents; and the editors are not 
only men of genius and taste, but of the greatest re- 
spectability. As I shall now be a regular contributor to 
this work, and as I think it contains much good matter, 
I have half an inclination to take it in, more especially 
as you have got the prior volumes : but in the present 
state of my finances it will not be prudent, unless you 
accede to a proposal, which, I think, will be gratifying 
to yourself. — It is, to take it in conjunction with me ; by 
which means we shall both have the same enjoyment 
of it, with half the expense. It is of little consequence 


who takes them, only he must be expeditious in read- 
ing them. If you have any the least objection to this 
scheme, do not suppress it through any regard to punc- 
tilio. I have only proposed it, and it is not very mate- 
rial whether you concur or not ; only exercise your own 

You say (speaking of a passage concerning you in 
my last), ' this is compliment sufficient ; the rest must 
be flattery.'-— Do you seriously, Neville, think me capa- 
ble of flattery ? 

As you well know I am a carping, critical little dog, 
you will not be surprised at my observing that there is 
one figure in your last that savours rather of the ludi- 
crous, when you talk of a ' butterfly hopping from book 
to book/ 

As to the something that I am to find out, that is a 
perpetual bar to your progress in knowledge, &c. I 
am inclined to think, Doctor, it is merely conceit. You 
fancy that you cannot write a letter — you dread its 
idea ; you conceive that a work of four volumes would 
require the labours of a life to read through ; you per- 
suade yourself that you cannot retain what you read, 
and in despair do not attempt to conquer these visionary 
impediments. Confidence, Neville, in one's own abili- 
ties, is^a sure forerunner (in similar circumstances with 
the present) of success, As an illustration of this, I 
beg leave to adduce the example of Pope, who had so 
high a sense, in his youth, or rather in his infancy, of 
his own capacity, that there was nothing of which, when 
once set about, he did not think himself capable ; and, 
as Dr. Johnson has observed, the natural consequence 
of this minute perception of his own powers, was his 
arriving at as high a pitch of perfection as it was possi- 
ble for a man with his few natural endowments to attain. 
t 2 


When you wish to read Johnson's Lives of the Poets, 
send for them : I have lately purchased them. I have 
now a large library. My mother allows me ten pounds 
per annum for clothes. I always dress in a respectable 
and even in a genteel manner, yet I can make much 
less than this sum suffice. My father generally gives 
me one coat in a year, and I make two serve. I then 
receive one guinea per annum for keeping my mother's 
books ; one guinea per annum pocket-money ; and by 
other means I gain, perhaps, two guineas more per an- 
num ; so that I have been able to buy pretty many ; 
and when you come home, you will find me in my study 
surrounded with books and papers. I am a perfect 
garreteer : great part of my library, however, consists 
of professional books. Have you read Burke on the 
Sublime? Knox's Winter Evening? — Can lend them 
to you, if you have not. 

Really, Neville, were you fully sensible how much 
my time is occupied, principally about my profession, 
as a primary concern, and in the hours necessarily set 
apart to relaxation, on polite literature, to which, as a 
hobby-horse, I am very desirous of paying some atten- 
tion, you would not be angry at my delay in writing, 
or my short letters. It is always with joy that I devote 
a leisure hour to you, as it affords you gratification ; 
and rest assured, that I always participate in your plea- 
sure, and poignantly feel every adverse incident which 
causes you pain. 

Permit me, however, again to observe, that one of 
my sheets is equal to two of yours; and I cannot but 
consider this is a kind of fallacious deception, for you 
always think that your letters contain so much more 
than mine because they occupy more room. If you 



were to count the words, the difference would not be so 
great. You must also take in account the unsealed 
communications to periodical works, which I now reckon 
a part of my letter ; and therefore you must excuse my 
concluding on the first sheet, by assuring you that I 
still remain 

Your friend and brother, 


P. S. A postscript is a natural appendage to a letter. 

— I only have to say, that positively you shall receive 

a six or eight-sheet letter, and that written legibly, ere 



DEAR SIR, Nottingham, August 12th, 1801. 

I must beg leave to apologize for not having returned 
my sincere acknowledgments to yourself and Mrs. 
Booth, for your very acceptable presents, at an earlier 
period. I now, however, acquit myself of the duty; 
and assure you, that from both of the works I have re- 
ceived much gratification and edification, but more par- 
ticularly from the one on the Trinity,* a production which 
displays much erudition, and a very laudable zeal for 
the true interests of religion. Religious polemics, in~ 
deed, have seldom formed a part of my studies ; though, 
whenever I happened accidentally to turn my thoughts 
to the subject of the Protestant doctrine of the God- 
head, and compared it with Arian and Socinian, many 
doubts interfered, and I even began to think that the 
more nicely the subject was investigated, the more per- 
plexed it would appear, and was on the point of form- 
ing a resolution to go to heaven in my own way, with- 

* Jones on the Trinity. 
T 3 


out meddling or involving myself in the inextricable 
labyrinth of controversial dispute, when I received and 
perused this excellent treatise, which finally cleared up 
the mists which my ignorance had conjured around me, 
and clearly pointed out the real truth. The intention 
of the author precluded the possibility of his employ- 
ing the ornaments and graces of composition in his 
work ; for, as it was meant for all ranks, it must be 
suited to all capacities ; but the arguments are drawn 
up and arranged in so forcible and perspicuous a man- 
ner, and are written so plainly, yet pleasingly, that I 
was absolutely charmed with them. 

The ' Evangelical Clergyman' is a very smart piece ; 
the author possesses a considerable portion of sarcas- 
tic spirit, and no little acrimony, perhaps not consistent 
with the Christian meekness which he wishes to incul- 
cate. I consider, however, that London would not 
have many graces, or attractions, if despoiled of all 
the amusements to which, in one part of his pamphlet, 
he objects. In theory, the destruction of these vicious 
recreations is very fine : but in practice, I am afraid 
he would find it quite different. * * * The other 
parts of this piece are very just, and such as every per- 
son must subscribe to. Clergymen, in general, are not 

what they ought to be ; and I think Mr. has 

pointed out their duties very accurately. But I am 
afraid I shall be deemed impertinent and tiresome, in 
troubling you with ill-timed and obtrusive opinions, 
and beg leave, therefore, to conclude, with respects to 
yourself and Mrs. Booth, by assuring you that I am, 
according to custom from time immemorial, and in due 
form, Dear Sir, 

Your obliged humble Servant, 




DEAR SIR, Nottingham, - — , 1802. 

I am sure you will excuse me for not having immedi- 
ately answered your letter, when I relate the cause. — • 
I was preparing, at that moment when I received yours, 
a volume of poems for the press, which I shall shortly 
see published. I finished and sent them off for Lon- 
don last night ; and I now hasten to acknowledge your 

I am very happy that any poem of mine should meet 
with your approbation. I prefer the cool and dispas- 
sionate praise of the discriminate few, to the boisterous 
applause of the crowd. 

Our professions neither of them leave much leisure 
for the study of polite literature; I myself have, how- 
ever, coined time, if you will allow the metaphor; and 
while I have made such a proficiency in the law, as has 
ensured me the regard of my governors, I have paid my 
secret devoirs to the ladies of Helicon. My draughts 
at the ' fountain Arethuse,' it is true, have been princi- 
pally made at the hour of midnight, when even the 
guardian nymphs of the well may be supposed to have 
slept; they are consequently stolen and forced. I do 
not see any thing in the confinement of our situations, 
in the mean time, which should separate congenial 
minds. A literary acquaintance is to me always valua- 
ble ; and a friend, whether lettered or unlettered, is 
highly worth cultivation. I hope we shall both of us 
have enough leisure to keep up an intimacy which be- 
gan very agreeably for me, and has been suffered to 
decay with regret. 

I am not able to do justice to your unfortunate friend 


Gill; I knew him only superficially, and yet I saw 
enough of his unassuming modesty, and simplicity of 
manners, to feel a conviction that he had a valuable 
heart. The verses on the other side are perhaps be- 
neath mediocrity: they are, sincerely, the work of 
thirty minutes this morning, and I send them to you 
with all their imperfections on their head. 

Perhaps they will have sufficient merit for the Not- 
tingham paper ; at least their locality will shield them 
a little in that situation, and give them an interest they 
do not otherwise possess. 

Do you think calling the Naiads of the fountains 
' Nymphs of Paeon' is an allowable liberty? The allu- 
sion is to their healthy and bracing qualities. 

The last line of the seventh stanza contains an appa- 
rent pleonasm, to say no worse of it, and yet it was not 
written as such. The idea was from the shriek of 
Death (personified) and the scream of the dying man. 


Occasioned by the Death of Mr. Gill, who was drowned in 
the river Trent, while bathing, 9th August, 1802. 

He sunk — th' impetuous river roll'd along, 
The sullen wave betray'd his dying breath ; 

And rising sad the rustling sedge among, 

The gale of evening touch'd the chords of death. 

Nymph of the Trent! why didst not thou appear 
To snatch the victim from thy felon wave ! 

Alas ! too late thou cam'st to embalm his bier, 
And deck with water-flags his early grave. 


Triumphant, riding o'er its tumid prey, 

Rolls the red stream in sanguinary pride ; 
While anxious crowds, in vain, expectant stay, 

And ask the swoln corse from the murdering tide. 
The stealing tear-drop stagnates in the eye, 

The sudden sigh by friendship's bosom proved, 
I mark them rise — I mark the general sigh : 

Unhappy youth ! and wert thou so beloved? 
On thee, as lone I trace the Trent's green brink, 

When the dim twilight slumbers on the glade ; 
On thee my thoughts shall dwell, nor Fancy shrink 

To hold mysterious converse with thy shade. 
Of thee, as early I, with vagrant feet, 

Hail the gray-sandall'd morn in Colwick's vale, 
Of thee my sylvan reed shall warble sweet, 

And wild-wood echoes shall repeat the tale. 
And, oh ! ye nymphs of Peeon ! who preside 

O'er running rill and salutary stream, 
Guard ye in future well the halcyon tide 

From the rude Death-shriek and the dying scream. 


DEAR SIR, Nottingham, 28th March, 1802. 

I was greatly surprised at your letter of the twenty- 
seventh, for I had in reality given you up for lost. I 
should long since have written to you, in answer to your 
note about the Lexicon, but was perfectly ignorant o 
the place of your abode. For any thing I knew to the 
contrary, you might have been quaffing the juice of the 
cocoa-nutunder the broad bananas of the Indies, breath- 
ing the invigorating air of liberty in the broad savan- 
nas of America, or sweltering beneath the line. I had 


however, even then, some sort of a presentiment that 
you were not quite so far removed from our foggy at- 
mosphere, but not enough to prevent me from being 
astonished at finding you so near us as Leicester. — 
You tell me I must not ask you what you are doing ; I 
am, nevertheless, very anxious to know ; not so much, 
I flatter myself, from any inquisitiveness of spirit, as 
from a desire to hear of your welfare. Why, my friend, 
did you leave us 1 possessing, as you did, if not exactly 
the otium cum dignitate, something very like it ; having 
every comfort and enjoyment at your call, which the 
philosophical mind can find pleasure in ; and, above all, 
blessed with that easy competence, that sweet indepen- 
dence, which renders the fatigues of employment sup- 
portable, and even agreeable. 

Quod satis est, cui contingit, nihil amplius optet. 
Certainly, to a man of your disposition, no situation 
couldhave more charms than yours at the Trent-Bridge. 
I regard those hours which I spent with you there, v/hile 
the mQon-beam was trembling on the waters, and the 
harp of Eolus was giving us its divine swells and dying 
falls, as the most sweetly tranquil of my life. 
* * * * 

I have applied myself rather more to Latin than to 
Greek since you left us. I make use of Schrevelius' 
Lexicon, but shall be obliged to you to buy me the 
Parkhurst, at any decent price, if possible. Can you 
tell me any mode of joining the letters in writing in the 
Greek character; 1 find it difficult enough. The fol- 
lowing is my manner; is it right? 

* * * * 

I can hardly flatter myself that you will give yourself 
the trouble of corresponding with me, as all the advan- 
tage would be on my side, without any thing to com- 


pensate for it on yours ; but — but in fact I do not know 
what to say farther, — only, that whenever you shall 
think me worthy of a letter, I shall be highly gratified. 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, 10th Feb. 1803. 

* * * *• 

Now with regard to the subscription, I shall certainly 
agree to this mode of publication, and I am very much 
obliged to you for what you say regarding it. But we 
must wait (except among your private friends) until we 
get Lady Derby's answer, and Proposals are printed. 
I think we shall readily raise 350, though Nottingham 
is the worst place imaginable for any thing of that kind. 
Even envy will interfere. I shall send proposals to 
Chesterfield, to my uncle : to Sheffield, to Miss Gales', 
(booksellers), whom I saw at Chesterfield, and who 
have lately sent me a pressing invitation to S , ac- 
companied with a desire of Montgomery (the Poet Paul 
Positive) to see me ; to Newark — Allen and Wright, 
my friends there (the latter a bookseller) ; and I think 
if they were stitched up with all the Monthly Mirrors, 
it would promote the subscription. You are not to take 
any money ; that would be absolute begging ; the sub- 
scribers put down their names, and pay the bookseller of 
whom they get the copy. 

* * * * 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, 10th March, 1803. 

I am cured of patronage-hunting; I will not expose 

myself to any more similar mortifications, but shall 


thank you to send the manuscripts to Mr. Hill, with a 
note, stating that I had written to the duchess, and re- 
ceiving no answer, you had called, and been informed 
by a servant, that in all probability she never read the 
letter, as she desired to know what the book zcas left there 
for ; that you had in consequence come away with the 
manuscripts, under a conviction that your brother 
would give her grace no farther trouble. State also, 
that you have received a letter from me, expressing a 
desire that the publication might be proceeded on with- 
out any farther solicitation or delay. 

A name of eminence was, nevertheless, a most de- 
sirable thing to me in Nottingham, as it would attach 
more respectability to the subscription ; but I see all 

farther efforts will only be productive of procrastination. 
* * * * 

I think you may as well begin to obtain subscribers 
amongst friends now, though the proposals may not be 
issued at present. 

I have got twenty-three, without making the affair 
public at all, among my immediate acquaintance : and 
mind, I neither solicit nor draw the conversation to the 
subject; but a rumour has got abroad, and has been re- 
ceived more favourably than I expected. 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, 2d May, 1803. 

I have just gained a piece of intelligence which much 
vexes me. Robinson, the bookseller, knows that I 
have written to the Duchess of Devonshire, and he took 
the liberty (certainly an unwarrantable one) to mention 
it to * * *, whose * * * was 

inscribed to her grace. Mr. * * said, that un- 


less I had got a friend to deliver the po^ms, personally, 
into the hands of her grace, it was a hundred to one 
that they ever reached her ; that the porter at the lodge 
burns scores of letters and packets a-day, and particu- 
larly all letters by the two-penny post are consigned to 
the fire. The rest, if they are not particularly excepted, 
as inscribed with a pass name on the back, are thrown into 
a closet, to be reclaimed at leisure. He said, the way 
he proceeded was this : — He left his card at her door, 
and the next day called, and was admitted. Her grace 
then gave him permission, with this proviso, that the 
dedication was as short as possible, and contained no 
compliments, as the duke had taken offence at some 
such compliments. 

Now, as my letter was delivered by you at the door, 
I have scarcely a doubt that it is classed with the penny- 
post letters and burnt. If my manuscripts are de- 
stroyed, I am ruined; but I hope it is otherwise. How- 
ever, I think you had better call immediately, and ask 
for a parcel of Mr. H. White, of Nottingham. They 
will of course say they have no such parcel ; and then, 
perhaps, you may have an opportunity of asking whe- 
ther a packet, left in the manner you left mine, had any 
probability of reaching the duchess. If you obtain 
no satisfaction, there remains no way of re-obtaining 
my volume but this (and I fear you will never agree to 
put it in execution), to leave a card, with your name 
inscribed, (Mr. J. N. White,) and call the next day. If 
you are admitted, you will state to her grace the pur- 
port of your errand, ask for a volume of poems in ma- 
nuscript, sent by your brother a fortnight ago, with a 
letter (say from Nottingham, as a reason why I do not 
wait on her), requesting permission of dedication to her ; 
and that as you found her grace had not received them, 


you had taken the liberty, after many inquiries at her 
door, to request to see her in person. 

I hope your diffidence will not be put to this test ; I 
hope you will get the poems without trouble ; as for 
begging patronage, I am tired to the soul of it, and 
shall give it up. 

* * * * 


DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, , 1803. 

I write you, with intelligence of a very important na- 
ture. You some time ago had an intimation of my wish 
to enter the church, in case my deafness was not re- 
moved. — About a week ago I became acquainted with 

the Rev. , late of St. John's College, Cambridge, 

and in consequence of what he said, I have finally 
determined to enter myself of Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, with the approbation of all my friends. 

Mr. says that it is a shame to keep me away 

from the university, and that circumstances are of no 
importance. He says, that if I am entered of Trinity, 
where they are all select men, I must necessarily, with my 
abilities, arrive at preferment. He says he will be an- 
swerable that the first year I shall obtain a scholarship, 
or an exhibition adequate to my support. That by the 
time I have been of five years' standing, I shall of course 
become a Fellow (200/. a-year); that with the Fellow- 
ship I may hold a Professorship (500/. per annum), and 
a living or curacy, until better preferments occur. He 
says, that there is no uncertainty in the church to a 
truly pious man, and a man of abilities and eloquence. 
That those who are unprovided for, are generally men 
who, having no interest, are idle drones, or dissolute 


debauchees, and therefore ought not to expect advance- 
ment. That a poet, in particular, has the means of pa- 
tronage in his pen : and that, in one word, no young 
man can enter the church (except he be of family) with 
better prospects than myself. On the other hand, Mr. 
Enfield has himself often observed, that my deafness 
will be an insuperable obstacle to me as an attorney, 
and has said how unfortunate a thing it was for me not 
to have known of the growing defect, in my organs of 
hearing, before I articled myself. Under these cir- 
cumstances, I conceive I should be culpable did I let 

go so good an opportunity as now occurs. Mr. 

will write to all his university friends, and he says there 
is so much liberality there, that they will never let a 
young man of talents be turned from his studies by want 
of cash. 

Yesterday I spoke to Mr. Enfield, and he, with un- 
exampled generosity, said that he saw clearly what an 
advantageous thing it would be for me ; that I must be 
sensible what a great loss he and Mr. Coldham would suf- 
fer ; but that he was certain neither he, nor Mr. C , 

could oppose themselves to any thing which was so 

much to my advantage. When Mr. C returns 

from London, the matter will be settled with my mother. 
All my mother's friends seem to think this an excel- 
lent thing for me, and will do all in their power to for- 
ward me. 

Now we come to a very important part of the busi- 
ness — the means. I shall go with my friend Robert, in 
the capacity of Sizar, to whom the expense is not more 
than 601. per annum. Towards this sum my mother 
will contribute 201. being what she allows me now for 
clothes (by this means she will save my board); and, 
for the residue, I must trust to getting a Scholarship, or 
u 2 

232 THE Remains OF 

Chapel Clerk's post. But in order to make this residue 
certain, I shall, at the expiration of twelve months, pub- 
lish a second volume of poems by subscription. 

My friend, Mr. says, that so far as his means 

will go, I shall never ask assistance in vain. He has 
but a small income, though of great family. He has 
just lost two rectories by scruples of conscience, and 
now preaches at ■ for SOL a-year. The follow- 
ing letter he put into my hand as I was leaving him, 
after having breakfasted with him yesterday. He put 
it into my hand, and requested me not to read it till I 
got home. It is a breach of trust letting you see it, but 
I wish you to know his character. 
< My dear Sir, 

6 I sincerely wish I had it in my power to render you 
any essential service, to facilitate your passing through 
college : believe me, I have the will, but not the means. 
Should the enclosed be of any service, either to purchase 
books, or for other pocket expenses, I request your ac- 
ceptance of it ; but must entreat you not to notice it, 
either to myself, or any living creature. I pray God that 
you may employ those talents that he has given you to 
his glory, and to the benefit of his people. I have great 
fears for you ; the temptations of college are great. 
Believe me, 

Very sincerely yours, 

* * *> 

The enclosure was 21. 2s, I could not refuse what 
was so delicately offered, though I was sorry to take it: 
he is truly an amiable character. 



DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, , 1803. 

You may conceive with what emotions I read your bro- 
therly letter ; I feel a very great degree of aversion to 
burdening my family any more than I have done, and 
now do ; but an offer so delicate and affectionate I can- 
not refuse, and if I should need pecuniary assistance, 
which I am in hopes I shall not, at least after the first 
year, I shall without a moment's hesitation apply to my 
brother Neville. 

My college schemes yet remain in a considerable de- 
gree of uncertainty; I am very uneasy thereabouts. I 
have not heard from Cambridge yet, and it is very 
doubtful whether there be a vacant Sizarship in Trinity : 
so that I can write you no farther information on this 

* * * # 

I suppose you have seen my review in this month's 
Mirror, and that I need not comment upon it ; such a 
review I neither expected, nor in fact deserve. 

I shall not send up the Mirror, this month, on this 
account, as it is policy to keep it ; and you have, no 
doubt, received one from Mr. Hill. 

The errors in the Greek quotation I perceived the 
moment I got down the first copies, and altered them, 
in most, with the pen ; they are very unlucky ; I have 
sent up the copies for the reviews myself, in order that 
I might make the correction in them. 

I have got now to write letters to all the reviewers, 
u 3 


and hope you will excuse my abrupt conclusion of this 
letter on that score. I am, dear Neville, 

Affectionately yours, 

I shall write to Mr. Hill now the first thing ; I owe 
much to him. 


MY DEAR BEN, Nottingham, 

* # * * 

And now, my dear Ben, I must confess your letter 
gave me much pain ; there is a tone of despondence in 
it which I must condemn, inasmuch as it is occasioned 
by circumstances which do not involve your own ex- 
ertions, but which are utterly independent of yourself: 
if you do your duty, why lament that it is not productive? 
In whatever situation we may be placed, there is a 
duty we owe to God and religion: it is resignation; — 
nay, I may say, contentment. All things are in the 
hands of God ; and shall we mortals (if we do not ab- 
solutely repine at his dispensations) be fretful under 
them ? I do beseech you, my dear Ben, summon up the 
Christian within you, and, steeled with holy fortitude, 
go on your way rejoicing! There is a species of morbid 
sensibility to which I myself have often been a victim, 
which preys upon my heart, and without giving birth 
to one actively useful or benevolent feeling, does but 
brood on selfish sorrows, and magnify its own misfor- 
tunes. The evils of such a sensibility, I pray to God 
you may never feel : but I would have you beware, for 
it grows on persons of a certain disposition before they 
are aware of it. 


I am sorry my letter gave you pain, and I trust my 
suspicions were without foundation. Time, my dear 
Ben, is the discoverer of hearts, and I feel a sweet con- 
fidence that he will knit ours yet more closely together. 

I believe my lot in life is nearly fixed : a month will 
tell me whether I am to be a minister of Christ, in the 
established church, or out. One of the two, I am now 
finally resolved, if it please God, to be. I know my 
own unworthiness : I feel deeply that I am far from 
being that pure and undefiled temple of the Holy Ghost 
that a minister of the word of life ought to be, yet still 
I have an unaccountable hope that the Lord will sanctify 
my efforts, that he will purify me, and that I shall be- 
come his devoted servant. 

I am at present under afflictions and contentions of 
spirit, heavier than I have yet ever experienced. I 
think, at times, I am mad, and destitute of religion. 
My pride is not yet subdued : the unfavourable re- 
view (in the " Monthly") of my unhappy work, has cut 
deeper than you could have thought : not in a literary 
point of view, but as it affects my respectability. It 
represents me actually as a beggar, going about gather- 
ing money to put myself at college, when my book is 
worthless ; and this with every appearance of candour. 
They have been sadly misinformed respecting me *. this 
review goes before me wherever I turn my steps ; it 
haunts me incessantly, and I am persuaded it is an in- 
strument in the hands of Satan to drive me to distrac- 
tion. I must leave Nottingham. If the answer of the 
Elland Society be unfavourable, I propose writing to 
the Marquis of Wellesley, to offer myself as a student 
at the academy he has instituted at Fort William, in 
Bengal, and at the proper age to take orders there. The 
missionaries at that place have done wonders already, 


and I should, I hope, be a valuable labourer in the vine- 
yard. If the marquis take no notice of my application, 
or do not accede to my proposal, I shall place myself 
in some other way of making a meet preparation for 
the holy office, either in the Calvinistic Academy, or in 
one of the Scotch universities, where I shall be able to 
live at scarcely any expense. 

* # * * 

TO MR. R.A- 

MY DEAR ROBERT, Nottingham, 18th April, 1804. 

I have just received your letter. Most fervently do 
I return thanks to God for this providential opening ; 
it has breathed new animation into me, and my breast 
expands with the prospect of becoming the minister of 
Christ where I most desired it ; but where I almost 
feared all probability of success was nearly at an end. 
Indeed, I had begun to turn my thoughts to the dissent- 
ers, as people of whom I was destined, not by choice, 
but necessity, to become the pastor. Still, although I 
knew I should be happy any where, so that I were a 
profitable labourer in the vineyard, I did, by no means, 
feel that calm, that indescribable satisfaction which I 
do, when I look towards that church, which I think, in 
the main, formed on the apostolic model, and from 
which I am decidedly of opinion there are no positive 
grounds for dissent. I return thanks to God for keep- 
ing me so long in suspense, for I know it has been be- 
neficial to my soul, and I feel a considerable trust that 
the way is now about to be made clear, and that my 
doubts and fears on this head will, in due time, be re- 

Could I be admitted to St. John's, I conclude, from 


what I have heard, that my provision would be ade- 
quate, not otherwise. From my mother I could de- 
pend on 151. or 201. a-year, if she live, towards college 
expenses, and I could spend the long vacation at home. 
The 201. per annum from my brother would suffice for 
clothes, &c. ; so that if I could procure 20/. a-year 
more, as you seem to think I may, by the kindness of 
Mr. Marty n, I conceive I might, with economy, be sup- 
ported at college : of this, however, you are the best 

You may conceive how much I feel obliged by Mr. 
Martyn on this head, as well as to you, for your un- 
wearying exertions. Truly, friends have risen up to 
me in quarters where I could not have expected them, 
and they have been raised, as it were, by the finger of 
God. I have reason, above all men, to be grateful to 
the Father of all mercies for his loving-kindness to- 
wards me; surely no one can have had more experi- 
ence of the fatherly concern with which God watches 
over, protects, and succours his chosen seed, than I 
have had ; and surely none could have less expected 
such a manifestation of his grace, and none could have 
less merited its continuance. 

* * * * 

In pursuance of your injunction, I shall lay aside 
Grotius, and take up Cicero and Livy, or Tacitus. 
In Greek I must rest contented for the ensuing four- 
teen days with the Testament : I shall then have con- 
quered the Gospels, and, if things go on smoothly, the 
Acts. I shall then read Homer, and perhaps Plato's 
Phsedon, which I lately picked up at a stall. My clas- 
sical knowledge is very superficial ; it has very little 
depth or solidity ; but I have really so small a portion 
of leisure, that I wonder at the progress I do make. 


I believe I must copy the old divines, in rising at four 
o'clock; for my evenings are so much taken up with 
visiting the sick, and with young men who come for 
religious conversation, that there is but little time for 


MY DEAR BEN, Nottingham, 24th April, 1804, 

Truly I am grieved, that whenever I undertake to be 
the messenger of glad tidings, I should frustrate my 
own design, and communicate to my good intelligence 
a tint of sadness, as it were by contagion. Most joy- 
fully did I sit down to write my last, as I knew I had 
wherewith to administer comfort to you ; and yet, after 
all, I find, that, by gloomy anticipations, I have con- 
verted my balsam into bitterness, and have by no means 
imparted that unmixed pleasure which I wished to do. 

Forebodings and dismal calculations are, I am con- 
vinced, very useless, and I think very pernicious spe- 
culations — ' Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.' — 
And yet how apt are we, when imminent trials molest 
us, to increase the burden by melancholy ruminations 
on future evils ! — evils which exist only in our own 
imaginations, and which, should they be realized, will 
certainly arrive in time to oppress us sufficiently with- 
out our adding to their existence by previous appre- 
hensions, and thus voluntarily incurring the penalty of 
misfortunes yet in perspective, and trials yet unborn. 
Let us guard then, I beseech you, against these un- 
grateful divinations into the womb of futurity — we know 
our affairs are in the hands of one who has wisdom to do 
for us beyond our narrow prudence, and we cannot, by 


taking thought, avoid any afflictive dispensation which 
God's providence may have in store for us. Let us 
therefore enjoy with thankfulness the present sunshine, 
without adverting to the common storm. Few and 
transitory are the intervals of calm and settled days 
with which we are cheered in the tempestuous voyage 
of life ; we ought therefore to enjoy them, while they 
last, with unmixed delight, and not turn the blessing 
into a curse, by lamenting that it cannot endure with- 
out interruption. We, my beloved friend, are united 
in our affections by no common bands — bands which, I 
trust, are too strong to be easily dissevered — yet we 
know not what God may intend with respect to us, nor 
have we any business to inquire — we should rely on 
the mercy of our Father, who is in heaven — and if we 
are to anticipate, we should hope the best. I stand 
self-accused therefore for my prurient, and I may say, 
irreligious fears. A prudent foresight, as it may guard 
us from many impending dangers, is laudable ; but a 
morbid propensity to seize and brood over future ills, 
is agonizing, while it is utterly useless, and therefore 
ought to be repressed. 

I have received intelligence, since writing the above, 

which nearly settles my future destination. A 

informs me that Mr. Martyn, a Fellow of St John's, 
has about 20Z. a-year to dispose of towards keeping a 
religious man at college — and he seems convinced that 
if my mother allows me 20/. a-year more, I may live at 
St. Johns, provided I could gain admittance, which, at 
that college, is difficult, unless you have previously 
stood in the list for a year. Mr. Martyn thinks., if I 
propose myself immediately, I shall get upon the founda- 
tion, and by this day's post I have transmitted tes- 
timonials of my classical acquirements. In a few days, 


therefore, I hope to hear that I am on the boards of 
St. John's. 

Mr. Dashwood has informed me, that he also has 
received a letter from a gentleman, a magistrate near 
Cambridge, offering me all the assistance in his power 
towards getting through the college, so as there be no 
obligation. My way therefore is now pretty clear. 

I have just risen from my knees, returning thanks to 
our heavenly Father for this providential opening — my 
heart is quite full. Help me to be grateful to him, and 
pray that I may be a faithful minister of his word. 


MY DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham. 

I sit down with unfeigned pleasure to write, in com- 
pliance with your request, that I would explain to you 
the real doctrines of the Church of England, or, what is 
the same thing, of the Bible. The subject is most im- 
portant, inasmuch as it affects that part of man which 
is incorruptible, and which must exist for ever — his 
soul. When God made the brute creation, he merely 
embodied the dust of the earth, and gave it the power 
of locomotion, or of moving about, and of existing in a 
certain sphere. In order to afford mute animals a rule 
of action, by which they might be kept alive, he im- 
planted in them certain instincts, from which they can 
never depart. Such is that of self-preservation, and 
the selection of proper food. But he not only endued 
man with these powers, but he gave him mind, or spirit 
— a faculty which enables him to ruminate on the ob- 
jects which he does not see — to compare impressions— 
to invent — and to feel pleasure and pain, when their 


causes are either gone or past, or lie in the future. 
This is what constitutes the human soul. It is an im- 
material essence — no one knows what it consists of, or 
where it resides ; the brain and the heart are the organs 
which it most seems to affect; but it would be absurd 
to infer therefrom, that the material organs of the heart 
and brain constitute the soul, seeing that the impres- 
sions of the mind sometimes affect one organ and 
sometimes the other. Thus, when any of the passions 
— love, hope, fear, pleasure, or pain, are excited, we 
feel them at our heart. When we discuss a topic of 
cool reasoning, the process is carried on in the brain : 
yet both parts are in a greater or less degree acted 
upon on all occasions ; and we may therefore conclude, 
that the soul resides in neither individually, but is an 
immaterial spirit, which occasionally impresses the one, 
and occasionally the other. That the soul is imma- 
terial, has been proved to a mathematical demonstra- 
tion. When we strike, we lift up our arm — when we 
walk, we protrude our legs alternately — but when we 
think, we move no organ: the reason depends on no 
action of matter, but seems as it were to hover over us, 
to regulate the machine of our bodies, and to meditate 
and speculate on things abstract as well as simple, ex- 
traneous as well as connected with our individual wel- 
fare, without having any bond which can unite it with 
our gross corporeal bodies. The flesh is like the tem- 
porary tabernacle which the soul inhabits, governs, and 
regulates ; but as it does not consist in any organiza- 
tion of matter, our bodies may die, and return to the 
dust from whence they were taken, while our souls — 
incorporeal essences — are incapable of death and an- 
nihilation. The spirit is that portion of God's own 
immortal nature, which he breathed into our clay at 
x I 


our birth, and which therefore cannot be destroyed, but 
will continue to exist when its earthly habitation is 
mingled with its parent dust. We must admit, there- 
fore, what all ages and nations, savage as well as civil- 
ized, have acknowledged, that we have souls, and that, 
as they are incorporeal, they do not die with our bodies, 
but are necessarily immortal. The question then natu- 
rally arises, what becomes of them after death ? Here 
man of his own wisdom must stop: — but God has 
thought fit, in his mercy, to reveal to us in a great* 
measure the secret of our natures, and in the Holy 
Scriptures we find a plain and intelligible account of 
the purposes of our existence, and the things we have 
to expect in the world to come. And here I shall just 
remark, that the authenticity and divine inspiration of 
Moses are established beyond a doubt, and that no 
learned man can possibly deny their authority. Over 
all nations, even among the savages of America, cut 
out as it were from the eastern world, there are tradi- 
tions extant of the flood, of Noah, Moses, and other 
patriarchs, by names which come so near the proper 
ones, as to remove all doubt of their identity. You 
know mankind is continually increasing in number; 
and consequently, if you make a calculation back- 
wards, the numbers must continue lessening and les- 
sening, until you come to a point where there was only 
one man. Well, according to the most probable cal- 
culation, this point will be found to be about 5,800 
years back, viz. the time of the creation, making allow- 
ance for the flood. Moreover, there are appearances 
upon the surface of the globe, which denote the manner 
in which it was founded, and the process thus developed 
will be found to agree very exactly with the Jigurative 
account of Moses. — (Of this I shall treat in a subsequent 


letter.)— Admitting then, that the books of the Penta- 
teuch were written by divine inspiration, we see laid 
before us the whole history of our race, and, including 
the Prophets, and the New Testament, the whole scheme 
of our future existence; we learn, in the first place, 
that God created man in a state of perfect happiness, 
that he was placed in the midst of every thing that 
could delight the eye, or fascinate the mind, and that 
he had only one command imposed upon him, which he 
was to keep under the penalty of death. This command 
God has been pleased to cover to our eyes with impene- 
trable obscurity. Moses, in the figurative language of 
the East, calls it eating the fruit of the Tree of Know- 
ledge of Good and Evil. But this we can understand, 
that man rebelled against the command of his Maker, 
and plunged himself by that crime from a state of bliss 
to a state of sorrow, and in the end, of death. — By 
death here is meant, the exclusion of the soul from fu- 
ture happiness. It followed, that if Adam fell from 
bliss, his posterity must fall, for the fruit must be like 
the parent stock ; and a man made, as it were dead, 
must likewise bring forth children under the same 
curse. — Evil cannot beget good. 

But the benign Father of the universe had pity upon 
Adam, and his posterity, and, knowing the frailty of 
our nature, he did not wish to assume the whole terrors 
of his just vengeance. Still God is a being who is in- 
finitely just, as well as infinitely merciful, and therefore 
his decrees are not to be dispensed with, andhis offended 
justice must have expiation. The case of mankind was 
deplorable; myriads yet unborn were implicated by 
the crime of their progenitor in general ruin. But the 
mercy of God prevailed, and Jesus Christ, the Messias, 
of whom all ages talked before he came down amongst 


men, offered himself up as an atonement for man's 
crimes. — The Son of God himself, infinite in mercy, 
offered to take up the human form, to undergo the se- 
verest pains of human life, and the severest pangs of 
death ; he offered to lie under the power of the grave 
for a certain period, and, in a word, to sustain all the 
punishment of our primitive disobedience in the stead 
of man. The atonement was infinite ; because God's 
justice was infinite : and nothing but such an atonement 
could have saved the fallen race. 

The death of Christ then takes away the stain of origi- 
nal sin, and gives man at least the power of attaining 
eternal bliss. Still our salvation is conditional, and we 
have certain requisitions to comply with ere we can be 
secure of heaven. — The next question then is, What are 
the conditions on which we are to be saved ? The word 
of God here comes in again in elucidation of our duty : 
the chief point insisted upon is, that we should keep 
God's law contained in the Ten Commandments ; 
but as the omission or breach of one article of the two 
tables is a crime just of as great magnitude as the origi- 
nal sin, and entails the penalty on us as much as if we 
had infringed the whole, God, seeing our frailty, pro- 
vided a means of effecting our salvation, in which no- 
thing should be required of us but reliance on his truth. 
— God sent the Saviour to bear the weight of our sins; 
he, therefore, requires us to believe implicitly, that 
through his blood we shall be accepted. This is the 
succedaneum which he imposed in lieu of the observ- 
ance of the moral law. Faith ! believe, and ye 
shall be saved. — He requires from us to throw our- 
selves upon the Redeemer, to look for acceptance 
through him alone, to regard ourselves as depraved, 
debased, fallen creatures, who can do nothing worthy 


in his sight, and who only hope for mercy through the 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Faith is the founda- 
tion-stone; Faith is the superstructure; Faith is all 
in all. — ' By Faith are ye saved; by Faith are ye justi- 

How easy, my dear Neville, are the conditions God 
imposes upon us! He only commands us to feel the tie 
of common gratitude, to trust in the mediation of his 
Son, and all shall be forgiven us. And shall our pride, 
our deluded imaginations, our false philosophy, inter- 
fere to blind our eyes to the beauties of so benevolent, 
so benign a system ? — Or shall earthly pleasures engross 
all our thoughts, nor leave space for a care for our souls ? 
— God forbid! As for faith, if our hearts are hardened, 
and we cannot feel that implicit, that fervent belief, 
which the Scripture requires, let us pray to God, that 
he will send his Holy Spirit down upon us, that he will 
enlighten our understanding with the knowledge of that 
truth which is too vast, too sublime for human under- 
standings, unassisted by Divine Grace, to comprehend. 

I have here drawn a hasty outline of the gospel-plan 
of salvation. In a future letter I shall endeavour to fill 
it up. At present I shall only say, think on these things! 
— They are of moment inconceivable. — Read your 
Bible, in order to confirm yourself in these sublime 
truths, and pray to God to sanctify to you the instruc- 
tions it contains. At present I would turn your atten- 
tion, exclusively, to the New Testament. Read also the 
book which accompanies this letter ; — it is by the great 
Locke, and will serve to shew you what so illustrious a 
philosopher thought of Revelation. 

x 3 

TO MR. R. A . 

DEAR ROBERT, Nottingham, May 7th, 1804. 

* * * * 

You don't know how I long to hear how your decla- 
mation was received, and ' all about it,' as we say in 
these parts. I hope to see it, when I see its author and 
pronouncer. Themistocles, no doubt, received due 
praise from you for his valour and subtlety ; but I trust 
you poured down a torrent of eloquent indignation 
upon the ruling principle of his actions and the motive of 
his conduct, while you exalted the mild and unassum- 
ing virtues of his more amiable rival. The object of 
Themistocles was the aggrandizement of himself, that 
of Aristides the welfare and prosperity of the state. The 
one endeavoured to swell the glory of his country; the 
other to promote its security, external and internal, 
foreign and domestic. While you estimated the ser- 
vices which Themistocles rendered to the state, in op- 
position to those of Aristides, you of course remembered 
that the former had the largest scope for action, and 
that he influenced his countrymen to fall into all his 
plans, while they banished his competitor, not by his su- 
rerior wisdom or goodness, but by those intrigues and 
factious artifices which Aristides would have disdained. 
Themistocles certainly did use bad means to a desir- 
able end : and if we may assume it as an axiom, that 
Providence will forward the designs of a good sooner 
than those of a bad man ; whatever inequality of abili- 
ties there may be between the two characters, it will 
follow that, had Athens remained under the guidance 
of Aristides, it would have been better for her. The 
difference between Themistocles and Aristides seems to 
me to be this : That the former was a wise and a for- 


tunate man; and that the latter, though he had equal 
wisdom, had not equal good fortune. We may admire 
the heroic qualities and crafty policy of the one, but to 
the temperate and disinterested patriotism, the good 
and virtuous disposition of the other, we can alone give 
the meed of heartfelt praise. 

I only mean by this, that we must not infer Themis- 
locles to have been the better or the greater man, because 
he rendered more essential services to the state than 
Aristides, nor even that his system was the most judi- 
cious, — but only, that, by decision of character, and by 
good fortune, his measures succeeded best. 
* * * * 

The rules of composition are, in my opinion, very few. 
If we have a mature acquaintance with our subject, there 
is little fear of our expressing it as we ought, provided 
we have had some little experience in writing. The first 
thing to be aimed at is perspicuity. That is the great 
point, which, once attained, will make all other obsta* 
cles smooth to us. In order to write perspicuously, we 
should have a perfect knowledge of the topic on which 
we are about to treat, in all its bearings and dependen- 
cies. We should think well before-hand what will be 
the clearest method of conveying the drift of our design. 
This is similar to what the painters call the massing, or 
getting the effect of the more prominent lights and 
shades by broad dashes of the pencil. When our the- 
sis is well arranged in our mind, and we have predis- 
posed our arguments, reasonings, and illustrations, so 
as they shall all conduce to the object in view, in regu- 
lar sequence and gradation, we may sit down and ex- 
press our ideas in as clear a manner as we can, always 
using such words as are most suited to our purpose ; 
and when two modes of expression, equally luminous, 


present themselves, selecting that which is the most har- 
monious and elegant. 

It sometimes happens that writers, in aiming at per- 
spicuity, overreach themselves, by employing too many 
words, and perplex the mind by a multiplicity of illustra- 
tions. This is avery fatal error. Circumlocution seldom 
coaduces to plainness ; and you may take it as a 
maxim, that when once an idea is clearly expressed, 
every additional stroke will only confuse the mind, and 
diminish the effect. 

When you have once learned to express yourself 
with clearness and propriety, you will soon arrive at ele- 
gance. Every thing else, in fact, will follow, as of 
course. But I warn you not to invert the order of 
things, and be paying your addresses to the Graces, 
when you ought to be studying perspicuity. Young 
writers, in general, are too solicitous to round off their 
periods, and regulate the cadences of their style. Hence 
the feeble pleonasms and idle repetitions which deform 
their pages. If you would have your compositions vi- 
gorous, and masculine in their tone, let every word 
tell; and when you detect yourself polishing off a sen- 
tence with expletives, regard yourself in exactly the 
same predicament with a poet who should eke out the 
measure of his verses with * titum, titom, tee, Sir.' 

So much for style 

* * * * 

TO MR. R. A . 

MY DEAR FRIEND, Nottingham, 9th May, 1804. 


I have not spoken as yet to Messrs. Coldham and En- 
field. Your injunction to suspend so doing, has left 
me in a state of mind, which, I think, I am blamable 


for indulging, but which is indescribably painful. I 
had no sleep last night, partly from anxiety, and partly 
from the effects of a low fever, which has preyed on 
my nerves for the last six or seven days. I am afraid, 
Robert, my religion is very superficial. I ought not to 
feel this distrust of God's providence. Should I now 
be prevented from going to college, I shall regard it as 
a just punishment for my want of faith. 

I conclude Mr. Martyn has failed in procuring the 
aid he expected. Is it so ? 

* * * * 

On these contingencies, Robert, you must know from 
my peculiar situation, I shall never be able to get to 
college. My mother, at all times averse, has lately 
been pressed by one of the deacons of Castlegate Meet- 
ing, to prevail on me to go to Dr. Williams. This idea 
now fills her head, and she would feel no small degree 
of pleasure in the failure of my resources for college. 
Besides this, her natural anxiety for my welfare will 
never allow her to permit me to go to the university 
depending almost entirely on herself, knowing not only 
the inadequacy, but the great uncertainty, of her aid. 
Coldham and Enfield must likewise be satisfied that 
my way is clear : I tremble, I almost despair. A va- 
riety of contending emotions, which I cannot particu- 
larize, agitate my mind. I tremble lest I should have 
mistaken my call ; these are solemn warnings : — but 
no — I cannot entertain the thought. To the ministry 
I am devoted, T believe, by God; in what way must be 
left to his providence. 



DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, June, 1804. 

In answer to your question, whether the Sizars have 
any duties to perform, I answer, No. Somebody, per- 
haps, has been hinting that there are servile offices to 
be performed by Sizars. It is a common opinion, but 
perfectly erroneous. The Oxford servitors, I believe, 
have many unpleasant duties ; but the Sizars at Cam- 
bridge only differ from the rest in name. 

* * * * 


MY DEAR BEN, Nottingham, June 15th, 1804. 

I do not sit down to write you a long letter, for I have 
been too much exhausted with mathematics to have 
much vigour of mind left ; my lines will therefore be 
wider than they are wont to be, and I shall, for once, be 
obliged to diffuse a little matter over a broad surface. 
For a consolatory letter I trust you have little need, as 
by this time you have no doubt learned to meet with 
calmness, those temporary privations and inconveni- 
ences which, in this life, we must expect, and therefore 
should be prepared to encounter. 

* * * * 

This is true — this is Christian philosophy; it is a 
philosophy in which we must all, sooner or later, be 
instituted, and which, if you steadfastly persist in seek- 
ing, I am sure God will assist you to your manifest 
comfort and peace. 

There are sorrows, and there are misfortunes which 
bow down the spirit beyond the aid of all human com- 
fort. Of these, I know, my dear Ben, you have had 


more than common experience ; but while the cup of 
life does overflow with draughts of such extreme as- 
perity, we ought to fortify ourselves against lesser evils, 
as unimportant to man, who has much heavier woes to 
expect, and to the Christian, whose joys are laid be- 
yond the verge of mortal existence. There are afflic- 
tions, there are privations, where death and hopes irre- 
coverably blasted leave no prospect of retrieval ; 
when I would no more say to the mourner, ' Man, 
wherefore weepest thou V than I would ask the winds 
why they blew, or the tempest why it raged. Sorrows 
like these are sacred ; but the inferior troubles of partial 
separation, vexatious occupation, and opposing current 
of human affairs are such as ought not, at least immo- 
derately, to affect a Christian, but rather ought to be 
contemplated as the necessary accidents of life, and dis- 
regarded while their pains are more sensibly felt. 

Do not think, I beseech you, my dear Ben, that I 
wish to represent your sorrows as light or trivial : I 
know they are not light : I know they are not trivial : 
but I wish to induce you to summon up the man within 
you; and while those unhappy troubles, which you 
cannot alleviate, must continue to torment you, I would 
exhort you to rise superior to the crosses of life, and 
shew yourself a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ, in the 
endurance of evil without repining, or unavailable la- 

Blest as you are with the good testimony of an ap- 
proving conscience, and happy in an intimate commu- 
nion with the all-pure and all-merciful God, these tri- 
fling concerns ought not to molest you ; nay, were the 
tide of adversity to turn strong against you, even were 
your friends to forsake you, and abject poverty to stare 
you in the face, you ought to be abundantly thankful to 


God for his mercies to you ; you ought to consider your- 
self still as rich, yea, to look around you, and say, I am 
far happier than the sons of men. 

This is a system of philosophy which, for myself, I 
shall not only preach, but practise. We are here for 
nobler purposes than to waste the fleeting moments of 
our lives in lamentations and wailings over troubles, 
which, in their widest extent, do but affect the present 
state, and which, perhaps, only regard our personal 
ease and prosperity. Make me an outcast — a beggar; 
place me a barefooted pilgrim on the top of the Alps 
or the Pyrenees, and I should have wherewithal to sus- 
tain the spirit within me, in the reflection that all this 
was but as for a moment, and that a period would come 
when wrong, and injury, and trouble should be no more. 
Are we to be so utterly enslaved by habit and associ- 
ation, that we shall spend our lives in anxiety and bitter 
care, only that we may find a covering for our bodies, 
or the means of assuaging hunger ? for what else is an 
anxiety after the world ? Or are even the followers of 
Christ themselves to be infected with the inane, the 
childish desire of heaping together wealth ? Were a 
man, in the way of making a large fortune, to take up 
his hat and stick, and say, ' I am useless here, and un- 
happy ; I will go and abide with the Gentoo or the 
Paraguay, where I shall be happy and useful,' he would 
be laughed at; but I say he would prove himself a more 
reasonable and virtuous man, than him who binds him- 
self down to a business which he dislikes, because it 
would be accounted strange, or foolish, to abandon so 
good a concern, and who heaps up wealth, for which he 
has little relish, because the world accounts it policy. 

I will refrain from pursuing this tone of reasoning. 
I know the weakness of human nature, and I know that 


we may argue with a deal of force, to shew the folly of 
grief, when we ourselves are its passive victims. But 
whether strength of mind prevail with you, or whether 
you still indulge in melancholy bodings and repinings, 
I am still your friend, nay, your sympathizing friend. 
Hard and callous, and ' unfeeling' as I may seem, I 
have a heart for my ever dear Benjamin. 



DEAR, NEVILLE, Wilford, near Nottingham, , 1804. 

I now write to you from a little cottage at Wilford, 
where I have taken a room for a fortnight, as well for 
the benefit of my health, as for the advantage of unin- 
terrupted study. I live in a homely house, in a homely 
style, but am well occupied, and perfectly at my ease. 

And now, my dear brother, I must sincerely beg par- 
don for all those manifold neglects of which I cannot 
but accuse myself towards you. When I recollect in- 
numerable requests in your letters, which I have not 
noticed, and many inquiries I have not satisfied, I al- 
most feel afraid that you will imagine I no longer re- 
gard your letters with brotherly fondness, and that you 
will cease to exercise towards me your wonted confi- 
dence and friendship. Indeed, you may take my word, 
they have arisen from my peculiar circumstances, and 
not from any concern or disregard of your wishes. I 
am now bringing my affairs (laugh not at the word) 
into some regularity, after all the hurry and confusion 
in which they have been plunged, by the distraction 
of mind attending my publication, and the projected 
change of my destination in life. 



DEAR NEVILLE, ■ Wilford, near Nottingham, ,1804. 

* * # # 

I have run very much on the wrong side of the post 
here ; for having sent copies round to such persons as 
had given me in their names, as subscribers, with com- 
pliments, they have placed them to the account of pre- 

* * *■ * 

And now, my dear Neville, I must give you the most 
ingenious specimen of the invention of petty envy you 
perhaps ever heard of. When Addison produced ' Cato,' 
it was currently received, that he had bought it of a 
vicar for 40/. The Nottingham gentry, knowing me too 
poor to buy my poems, thought they could do no better 
than place it to the account of family affection, and, lo ! 
Mrs. Smith is become the sole author, who has made 
use of her brother's name as a feint! I heard of this re- 
■poitjirst covertly : it was said that Mrs. Smith was the 
principal writer : next it was said that I was the author 
of one of the inferior smaller pieces only, (< My Study ;') 
and lastly, On mentioning the circumstances to Mr. A — , 
he confessed that he had heard several times that my 
' sister was the sole quill-driver of the family, and that 
Master Henry, in particular, was rather shallow/ but 
that he had refrained from telling me, because he thought 
it would vex me. Now, as to the vexing me, it only has 
afforded me a hearty laugh. I sent my compliments 
to one great lady, whom I heard propagating this ri- 
diculous report, and congratulated her on her ingenuity, 
telling her, as a great secret, that neither my sister or 
myself had any claim to any of the poems, for the right 


author was the Great Mogul's cousin-german. The 
best part of the story is, that my good friend, Benjamin 
Maddock, found means to get me to write verses ex- 
tempore, to prove whether I could tag rhymes or not, 
which, it seems, he doubted. 


Thou base repiner at another's joy, 

Whose eye turns green at merit not thine own, 
Oh, far away from generous Britons fly, 
And find on meaner climes a fitter throne. 
Away, away, it shall not be, 

Thou shalt not dare defile our plains ; 
The truly generous heart disdains 
Thy meaner, lowlier fires, while he 
Joys at another's joy, and smiles at others' jollity. 

Triumphant monster! though thy schemes succeed — 

Schemes laid in Acheron, the brood of night, 
Yet, but a little while, and nobly freed, 

Thy happy victim will emerge to light ; 
When o'er his head in silence that reposes, 

Some kindred soul shall come to drop a tear ; 
Then will his last cold pillow turn to roses, 

Which thou hadst planted with the thorn severe ; 
Then will thy baseness stand confess'd, and all 
Will curse the ungenerous fate, that bade a Poet fall. 
* * * * 

Yet, ah ! thy arrows are too keen, too sure : 
Couldst thou not pitch upon another prey? 

Alas ! in robbing him, thou robb'st the poor, 
Who only boast what thou wouldst take away ; 
y 2 


See the lone Bard at midnight study sitting, 

O'er his pale features streams his dying la 
- While o'er fond Fancy's pale perspective flitting, 

Successive forms their fleet ideas stamp. 
Yet say, is bliss upon his brow impress'd; 

Does jocund Health in thought's still mansion live? 
Lo, the cold dews that on his temples rest, 

That short quick sigh — their sad responses give. 

And canst thou rob a Poet of his song ; 

Snatch from the Bard his trivial meed of praise? 
Small are his gains, nor does he hold them long : 

Then leave, oh leave him to enjoy his lays 
While yet he lives — for to his merits just, 

Though future ages join his fame to raise, 
Will the loud trump awake his cold unheeding dust? 


1YIY DEAR BEN, Nottingham, 7th July, 1804. 

* * * * 

The real wants of life are few; the support of the body, 
simply, is no expensive matter ; and as we are not mad 
upon silks and satins, the covering of it will not be 
more costly. The only superfluity I should covet would 
be books, but I have learned how to abridge that plea- 
sure ; and having sold the flower of my library for the 
amazing sum of six guineas, I mean to try whether me- 
ditation will not supply the place of general reading, 
and probably, by the time I am poor and needy, I shall 
look upon a large library like a fashionable wardrobe, 
goodly and pleasant, but as to the real utility, indif- 

So much for Stoicism, and now for Monachism — I 
shall never, never marry ! It cannot, must not be. As 


to affections, mine are already engaged as much as they 
will ever be, and this is one reason why I believe my 
life will be a life of celibacy. I pray to God that it may 
be so, and that I may be happy in that state. I love 
too ardently to make love innocent, and therefore I say, 
farewell to it. Besides, I have another inducement, I 
cannot introduce a woman into poverty for my love's 
sake, nor could I bear to see such a one as I must marry 
struggling with narrow circumstances, and sighing ibr 
the fortunes of her children. No, I say, forbear ! and 
may the example of St. Gregory of Naz. and St. Basil, 
support me. 

All friends are well, except your humble scribe, who 
has got a little too much into his old way since your 
departure; studying and musing, and dreaming of 
every thing but his health : still amid all his studying, 
musings, and dreams, 

Your true friend and brother, 



Nottingham July 9th, 1804. 

IF tf: yf? $fc 

I can now inform you, that I have reason to believe 
my way through college is clear before me. From 
what source I know not ; but through the hands of 
Mr. Simeon I am provided with 30/. per annum; and 
while things go on so prosperously as they do now, I 
can command 20/. or 30/. more from my friends, and 
this, in all probability, until I take my degree. The 
friends to whom I allude are my mother and brother. 

My mother has, for these five years past, kept a 
boarding school in Nottingham : and, so long as her 
school continues in its present state, she can- supply 
y 3 


me with 151. or 201. per annum, without inconvenience ; 
but should she die (and her health is, I fear, but infirm), 
that resource will altogether fail. Still, I think, my 
prospect is so good as to preclude any anxiety on my 
part; and perhaps my income will be more than ade- 
quate to my wants, as I shall be a Sizar of St. John's, 
where the college emoluments are more than commonly 

In this situation of my affairs, you will perhaps agree 
with me in thinking that a subscription for a volume of 
poems will not be necessary; and, certainly, that mea- 
sure is one which will be better avoided, if it may be. 
I have lately looked over what poems I have by me in 
manuscript, and find them more numerous than I ex- 
pected ; but many of them would perhaps be styled 
mopish and maukish, and even misanthropic, in the lan- 
guage of the world; though, from the latter sentiment, 
I am sure I can say, no one is more opposite than I am. 
These poems, therefore, will never see the light, as, from 
a teacher of that word which gives all strength to the 
feeble, more fortitude and Christian philosophy may, 
with justice, be expected than they display. The re- 
mainder of my verses would not possess any great in- 
terest : mere description is often mere nonsense : and 
I have acquired a strange habit, whenever I do point 
out a train of moral sentiment from the contemplation 
of a picture, to give it a gloomy and querulous cast, 
when there is nothing in the occasion but what ought 
to inspire joy and gratitude. I have one poem, how- 
ever, of some length, which I shall preserve ; and I have 
another of considerable magnitude in design, but of 
which only a part is written, which I am fairly at a loss 
whether to commit to the flames, or at some future op- 
portunity to finish. The subject is the death of Christ. 


I have no friend whose opinion is at all to be relied on, 
to whom I could submit it, and, perhaps, after all, it 
may be absolutely worthless. 

With regard to that part of my provision which is de- 
rived from my unknown friend, it is of course condi- 
tional : and as it is not a provision for a poet, but for a 
candidate for orders, I believe it is expected, and indeed 
it has been hinted, as a thing advisable, that I should 
barter the muses for mathematics, and abstain from 
writing verses at least until I take my degree. If I find 
that all my time will be requisite, in order to prepare 
for the important office I am destined to fill, I shall cer- 
tainly do my duty, however severely it may cost me : 
but if I find I may lawfully and conscientiously relax 
myself at intervals, with those delightful reveries which 
have hitherto formed the chief pleasure of my life, I 
shall, without scruple, indulge myself in them. 

I know the pursuit of Truth is a much more important 
business than the exercise of the imagination ; and amid 
all the quaintness and stiff method of the mathemati- 
cians, 1 can even discover a source of chaste and ex- 
alted pleasure. To their severe but salutary discipline, 
I must now ' subdue the vivid shapings of my youth ;' 
and though I shall cast many a fond lingering look to 
Fancy's more alluring paths, yet I shall be repaid by 
the anticipation of days, when I may enjoy the sweet 
satisfaction of being useful, in no ordinary degree, to 
my fellow-mortals. 


DEAR SIR, Nottingham 24th July 1804. 

I think Mr. Moore's love poems are infamous, because 
they subvert the first great object of poetry — theencou- 


ragement of the virtuous and the noble, and metamor- 
phose nutritious aliment into poison. I think the muses 
are degraded when they are made the handmaids of 
sensuality, and the bawds of a brothel. 

Perhaps it may be the opinion of a young man, but 
I think, too, the old system of heroic attachment, with 
all its attendant notions of honour and spotlessness, 
was, in the end, calculated to promote the interests of 
the human race ; for though it produced a temporary 
alienation of mind, perhaps bordering on insanity, yet 
with the very extravagance and madness of the senti- 
ments, there were inwoven certain imperious principles 
of virtue and generosity, which would probably remain 
after time had evaporated the heat of passion, and so- 
bered the luxuriance of a romantic imagination. I think, 
therefore, a man of song is rendering the community a 
service when he displays the ardour of manly affection 
in a pleasing light ; but certainly we need no incentives 
to the irregular gratification of our appetites, and I 
should think it a proper punishment for the poet who' 
holds forth the allurements of illicit pleasures in amiable 
and seductive colours, should his wife, his sister, or his 
child fall a victim to the licentiousness he has been in- 
strumental in diffusing. 


MY DEAR BEN, Winteringham, August 3, 1804. 

I am all anxiety to learn the issue of your proposal to 
your father. Surely it will proceed ; surely a plan laid 
out with such fair prospects of happiness to you, as 
well as me, will not be frustrated. Write, to me the 
moment you have any information on the subject. 
I think we shall be happy together at Cambridge; 


and in the ardent pursuit of Christian knowledge, and 
Christian virtue, we shall be doubly united. We were 
before friends : now, I hope, likely to be still more 
emphatically so. But I must not anticipate. 

I left Nottingham without seeing my brother Neville, 
who arrived there two days after me. This is a circum- 
stance which I much regret ; but I hope he will come 
this way when he goes, according to his intention, to a 
watering place. Neville has been a good brother to 
me, and there are not many things which would give 
me more pleasure than, after so Jong a separation, to see 
him again. I dare not hope that I shall meet you and 
him together in October, at Nottingham. 

My days flow on here in an even tenor. They are, 
indeed, studious days, for my studies seem to multiply 
on my hands, and I am so much occupied with them, 
that I am becoming a mere book-worm, running over 
the rules of Greek versification in my walks, instead of 
expatiating on the beauties of the surrounding scenery. 
Winteringham is, indeed, now a delightful place : the 
trees are in full verdure, the crops are browning the 
fields, and my former walks are become dry under foot, 
which I have never known them to be before. The 
opening vista, from our churchyard, over the Humber, 
to the hills and receding vales of Yorkshire, assumes 
a thousand new aspects. I sometimes watch it at even- 
ing, when the sun is just gilding the summits of the hills, 
and the lowlands are beginning to take a browner hue. 
The showers partially falling in the distance, while all 
is serene above me; the swelling sail rapidly falling 
down the river ; and, not least of all,the villages, woods, 
and villas on the opposite bank, sometimes render this 
scene quite enchanting to me ; and it is no contempt- 
ible relaxation, after a man has been puzzling his brains 


over the intricacies of Greek choruses all the day, to 
come out and unbend his mind with careless thought 
and negligent fancies, while he refreshes his body with 
the fresh air of the country. 

I wish you to have a taste of these pleasures with 
me ; and if ever I should live to be blessed with a quiet 
parsonage, and that great object of my ambition, a 
garden, I have no doubt but we shall be, for some short 
intervals at least, two quiet, contented bodies. These 
will be our relaxations ; our business will be of a nobler 
kind. Let us vigilantly fortify ourselves against the 
exigencies of the serious appointment we are, with 
God's blessing, to fulfil ; and if we go into the church 
prepared to do our duty, there is every reasonable pro- 
spect that our labours will be blessed, and that we shall 
be blessed in them. As your habits generally have been 
averse to what is called close application, it will be too 
much for your strength, as well as unadvisable in other 
points of view, to study very intensely ; but regularly 
you may, and must read ; and depend upon it, a man 
will work more wonders by stated and constant appli- 
cation, than by unnatural and forced endeavours. 


MY DEAR BEN, Nottingham, September, 1804. 

By the time you will open this letter, we shall have 
parted, God only knows whether ever to meet again. 
The chances and casualties of human life are such as 
to render it always questionable whether three months 
may not separate us for ever from an absent friend. 
* * * * 

For my part, I shall feel a vacuum when you are 


gone, which will not easily be filled up. I shall miss 
my only intimate friend — the companion of my walks — 
the interrupter of my evening studies. I shall return, in 
a great measure, to my old solitary habits. I cannot as- 
sociate with * *, nor yet with * * *. * * * has 
no place in my affections, though he has in my esteem. 
It was to you alone I looked as my adopted brother, 
and (although, for reasons you may hereafter learn, I 
have not made you my perfect confidante) my com- 
forter. Heumihi amice, Vale, longum Vale! I hope 

you will sometimes think of me, and give me a portion 
in your prayers. 

* * * * 

Perhaps it may be that I am not formed for friend- 
ship, that I expect more than can ever be found. Time 
will tutor me ; I am a singular being under a common 
outside: I am a profound dissembler of my inward 
feelings, and necessity has taught me the art. I am 
long before I can unbosom to a friend, yet, I think, I 
am sincere in my friendship : you must not attribute 
this to any suspiciousness of nature, but must consider 
that I lived seventeen years my own confidante, my own 
friend, full of projects and strange thoughts, and con- 
fiding them to no one. I am habitually reserved, and 
habitually cautious in letting it be seen that I hide any 
thing. Towards you I would fain conquer these habits, 
and this is one step towards effecting the conquest. 

I am not well, Ben, to-night, as my hand-writing and 
style will shew ; I have rambled on, however, to some 
length ; my letter may serve to beguile a few moments 
on your way. I must say good-bye to you, and may 
God bless you, and preserve you, and be your guide 
and director for ever ! Remember, he is always with 
you ; remember, that in him you have a comforter in 


every gloom. In your wakeful nights, when you have 
not me to talk to, his ear will be bent down on your 
pillow ; what better bosom friend has a man than the 
merciful and benignant Father of all 1 Happy, thrice 
happy, are you in the privilege of his grace and ac- 
ceptance. Dear Ben, 

I am your true friend, 



DEAR KIRKE, High Pavement, October 4th, 1804. 

* * * * 

For your kind and very valuable present, I know not 
how to thank you. The archbishop* has long been one 
of my most favourite divines ; and a complete set of his 
sermons really * sets me up.' I hope I am able to ap- 
preciate the merits of such a collection, and I shall 
always value them apart from their merit, as a me- 
mento of friendship. 

I hope that, when our correspondence begins, it wi'll 
neither be lax nor uninteresting; and that, on both 
sides, it may be productive of something more than 
mere amusement. 

While we each strive to become wiser in those things 
wherein true wisdom is alone to be found, we may mu- 
tually contribute to each other's success, by the com- 
munication of our thoughts : and that we may both 
become proficients in that amiable philosophy which 
makes us happier by rendering us better ; that philo- 
sophy which alone makes us wise unto salvation, is the 
prayer of, Dear Kirke, 

Your sincere friend, 


..:■■„ * Tillotson. 



AMICE DILECTE,* Winteringham, , 1804. 

Puderet me infrequentise nostrarum literarum, nisi 
hoc ex te pendere sentirem. Epistolas a te missas non 
prius accepi quam kalendis Decembris — res mihi 
acerba, nihilominus ad ferendum levior, dum me non 
tibi ex animo prorsus excidisse satis exploratum est. 

Gavisus sum, e litteris tuis, amico Roberto dicatis, 
cum audirem te operam et dedisse et daturum ad Gree- 
cam linguam etiamnum excolendam cum viro omni 
doctrina erudito. — Satis scio te, illo duce, virum doc- 
tissimum et in optimarum artium studiis exquisitissi- 
mum futurum esse: haud tamen bis facultatibus con- 
tentum, sed altiora petentem, nempe salutem humani 
generis et sancta verbi divini arcana. 

Vix jam, amice ! recreor e morbo, a quo graviter 
segrotavi: vix jam incipio membra languore confecta 
in diem apertam trahere. Tactus arid a manu febris, 
spatiosas trivi noctes lacrymis et gemitu. Vidi, cum 
in conspectu mortis collocatus fuerim, vidi omnia cla- 
riora facta, intellexi me non fidem Christi satis servasse, 
non, ut famulum Dei, fideliter vitam egisse, iEgritudo 
multa prius celata patefacit. Hoc ipse sensi et omnes, 
sint sane religiosi, sint boni, idem sentient. Sed ego 
prsecipue causam habui cur me afflixerim et summisso 
animo ad pedem crucis abjecerim. Imo vero et lacry- 
mas copiose effudi et interdum consolatio Sancti Spiri- 
tus turbinem animi placavit. Utinam vestigium hujus 
periculi semper in animo retineam ! 

* This Letter was written when our author was but commenc- 
ing his classical studies, and must therefore not be considered as a 
specimen of his Latinity. 



Non dubito quin tibi gratum erit audire de moribus 
et studiis nostris. Prseceptor nobis, nomine Grainger, 
non e collegio educatus fuit, attamen doctrina haud 
mediocris est, pietate eximius. Hypodidascalus fuit in 
schola viri istius docti et admodum venerandi Josepbi 
Milner, qui eura dilexit atque honoravit. Mores ju- 
cundi et faciles sunt, urbanitate ac lepore suaviter 
conditi, quanquam interdum in vultu tristis severitas 
inest. Erga bonos mansuetus, malis se durior gerit. — 
iEque fere est Pastor diligens, vir egregius, et prsecep- 
tor bonus. Cumisthoc legimus apud Graecos, Home- 
rum et Demosthenem et Sanctas Scripturas, apud La- 
tinos, Virgilium, Ciceronem et aliquando in ludo Te- 
rentium. Scribimus etiam Latine, et constructionis et 
elegantise gratia; nihilominus (hac epistola teste) non 
opus est dicendi tibi quam paululum ego ipse proficio. 
In scribendo Latine, praeter consuetudinem in lingua 
Anglicana, sum lentus, piger, ineptus. Verba stillant 
heu quam otiose, et quum tandem visa sint quam inele- 
gantia ! Spero tamen usu atque animo diligenter adhi- 
bendo deinde Latinis sermonibus aliquam adipisci fa- 
cilitatem, nunc fere oportet me contentum esse cupire 
et laborare, paululum potiundo, magna moliendo. 

Intelligis, procul dubio, nos vicum incolere Winter- 
inghamiensis, ripis situmHumberi fluminis, sed nondum 
forsan sentias locum esse agrestem, fluviis, collibus, 
arvis, omni decore pervenustum. Domus nostra Tem- 
plo Dei adjacet; a tergo sunt dulces horti et terrenus 
agger arboribus crebre septus, quo deambulare sole- 
mus. Circumcirca sunt rurales pagi quibus soepe cum 
otium agamus, postprandium imus. Est villa, nomine 
Whittonia, ubi a celsa rupe videre potes flumen Trentii 
vasto Humbero influens, et paulo altiusOosem flumen. 
Infra sub opaca saxa fons est, cui potestas inest in 


lapidem materias alienas convertendi ; ab altissima 
rupe labitur in littus, museum, conchas et fragiliores 
ramos arborum in lapidem transmutans. In prospectu 
domus montes Eboracenses surgunt trans Humberum 
siti, sylvis et villis stipati, nunc solis radiis ridentes* 
nunc horridi nimbis ac procellis. Vela navium ventis 
irapleta ante fenestras satis longo intervallo prolabun- 
tur : dum supra in aere procelso greges anserum vastos 
longo clamore volitant. Ssepe in animo revolvo verba 

"corr oguQwv ttstejjvSv 'iQvea irok'ha. 
XwZv t) yspavw, n x-vkvuiv $ov'hi)(p$e{euv, 
'Affix lvteiy.3>vi Kavo-rpiov afxtyl jiieQpa, 
"EvBa, aal hBa <woToovrai ayaXKofxtvai itTZgvyia-a t , 
KXayyn^ov TrgoJtaQ^ovTaiv, cr^capaysT Se ts Xs^usjv 
A Slq tZv iQna. TroXXa vsZv cLtto xcu xXmaav 
'E? tteS/ov TTpop^EovTO Ixa^avJpjoV etc. 

* *- * * 

Vale. Dum vitales auras carpam, 


DEAR KIRKE, Winteringham, 20tli Oct. 1804. 

We are safely arrived, and comfortably settled, in the 
parsonage of Winteringham. The house is most de- 
lightfully situated close by the church, at a distance 
from the village, and with delightful gardens behind, 
and the Humber before. The family is very agreeable, 
and the style in which we live is very superior. Our tutor 
is not only a learned man, but the best pastor and most 
pleasing domestic man, I ever met with. You will be 
glad to hear we are thus charmingly situated. I have 
z 2 


reason to thank God for his goodness in leading me to 
so peaceful and happy a situation. 

The year which now lies before rne, I shall, a 
blessing of God, if I am spared, employ in very impor- 
tant pursuits ; and I trust that I shall come away not 
only a wiser but a better man. I have here nothing to 
interrupt me — no noise — no society to disturb, or avo- 
cations to call me off, and if I do not make consider- 
able improvements, I do not know when I shall. 

We have each our several duties to perform ; and 
though God has been pleased to place us in very dif- 
ferent walks of life, yet we may mutually assist each 
other by counsel, by admonition, and by prayer. My 
calling is of a nature the most arduous and awful ; I 
need every assistance from above, and from my com- 
panions in the flesh ; and no advice will ever be es- 
teemed lightly by me, which proceeds from a servant 
of God, however trifling, or however ill expressed. If 
your immediate avocations be less momentous, and 
less connected with the world to come, your duty is not 
the less certain, or the more lightly to be attended to. 
— You are placed in a situation wherein God expects 
from you according to your powers, as well as from 
me in mine : and there are various dark and occult 
temptations, of which you are little aware, but into 
which you may easily and imperceptibly fall, unless 
upheld by the arm of Almighty God. You stand in 
need, therefore, to exercise a constant reliance on the 
Holy Spirit, and its influences, and to watch narrowly 
your own heart, that it conceive no secret sin : for 
although your situation be not so dangerous, nor your 
duties so difficult, yet, as the masks which Satan as- 
sumes are various, you may still find cause for spiritual 
fear and sorrow, and occasion for trembling, lest you 


should not have exercised your talents in proportion to 
their extent. It is a valuable observation, that there is 
no resting-place in the spiritual progress — we must 
either go backward or forward ; and when we are at a 
loss to know whether our motion be onward or retro- 
grade, we may rest assured, that there is something 
wanting which must be supplied — some evil yet lurking 
in the heart, or some duty slightly performed. 

You remember I heard Mr. * *, on the night pre- 
vious to my departure ; I did not say much on his 
manner, but I thought it neat, and the sermon far 
better than I expected : but I must not be understood to 
approve altogether of Mr. * *'s preaching. I think, in 
particular, he has one great fault, that is elegance — he 
is not sufficiently plain. Remember, we do not mount 
the pulpit to say fine things, or eloquent things; we 
have there to proclaim the good tidings of salvation to 
fallen man; to point out the way of eternal life; to 
exhort, to cheer, and support the suffering sinner: 
these are the glorious topics upon which we have to 
enlarge — and will these permit the tricks of oratory, 
or the studied beauties of eloquence? Shall truths and 
counsels like these be couched in terms which the poor 
and ignorant cannot comprehend ? — Let all eloquent 
preachers beware, lest they fill any man's ear with 
sounding words, when they should be feeding his soul 
with the bread of everlasting life ! Let them fear, lest, 
instead of honouring God, they honour themselves ! If 
any man ascend the pulpit with the intention of utter- 
ing a fine thing, he is committing a deadly sin. Re- 
member, however, that there is a medium, and that 
vulgarity and meanness are cautiously to be shunned ; 
but while we speak with propriety and chastity, we 
cannot be too familiar or too plain. I do not intend 
z 3 


to apply these remarks to Mr. * * individually, but 
the manner of preaching here alluded to. If his man- 
ner be such as I have here described, the observations 
will also fit ; but, if it be otherwise, the remarks refer 
not to him, but to the style reprobated. 
* * * * 

I recommend to you, always before you begin to 
study, to pray to God to enlighten your understanding, 
and give you grace to behold all things through the 
medium of religion. This was always the practice in 
the old universities, and, I believe, is the only way to 
profit by learning. 

I can now only say a few words to you, since our 
regular hour of retiring fast approaches. I hope you 
are making progress in spiritual things, proportionably 
to your opportunities, and that you are sedulously en- 
deavouring, not only to secure your own acceptation, 
but to impart the light of truth to those around you 
who still remain in darkness. 

Pray let me hear from you at your convenience, and 
my brother will forward the letter; and believe me, 
My dear Kirke, 
Your friend, and fellow-traveller in the 
Tearful sojourn of life, 



MY DEAR MOTHER, Winteringham, Dec. 16th, 1804. 
Since I wrote to you last I have been rather ill, having 
caught cold, which brought on a slight fever. Thanks 
to excellent nursing, I am now pretty much recovered, 
and only want strength to be perfectly re-established. 
Mr. Grainger is himself a very good physician ; but 


when I grew worse, he deemed it necessary to send for 
a medical gentleman from Barton ; so that, in addition 
to my illness, I expect an apothecary's bill. This, 
however, will not be a very long one, as Mr. Grainger 
has chiefly supplied me with drugs. It is judged abso- 
lutely necessary that I should take wine, and that I 
should ride. It is with very great reluctance that I 
agree to incur these additional expenses, and I shall 
endeavour to cut them off as soon as possible. Mr. 
and Mrs. Grainger have behaved like parents to me 
since I have been ill : four and five times in the night 
has Mr. G. come to see me; and had I been at home, 
I could not have been treated with more tenderness and 
care. Mrs. Grainger has insisted on my drinking their 
wine, and was very angry when I made scruples; but 
I cannot let them be at all this additional expense — in 
some way or other I must pay them, as the sum I now 
give, considering the mode in which we are accommo- 
dated, is very trifling. Mr. Grainger does not keep a 
horse, so that I shall be obliged to hire one ; but there 
will be no occasion for this for any length of time, as 
my strength seems to return as rapidly as it was rapidly 
reduced. Don't make yourself in the least uneasy 
about this, I pray, as I .am quite recovered, and not at 
all apprehensive of any consequences. I have no 
cough, nor any symptom which might indicate an af- 
fection of the lungs. I read very little at present. 

I thought it necessary to write to you on this subject 
now, as I feared you might have an exaggerated ac- 
count from Mr. Almond's friends, and alarm yourself. 



MY DEAR BROTHER, Winteringham, Dec. 27, 1 804. 
I have been very much distressed at the receipt of 
your letter, accompanied with one from my mother, one 
from my sister, and from Mr. Dashwood, and Kirke 
Swann, all on the same subject; and greatly as I feel 
for all the kindness and affection which has prompted 
these remonstrances, I am quite harassed with the idea 
that you should not have taken my letter as a plain 
account of my illness, without any wish to hide from 
you that I had been ill somewhat seriously, but that I 
was indeed better. 

I can now assure you, that I am perfectly recovered, 
and am as well as I have been for some time past. My 
sickness was merely a slight fever, rather of a nervous 
kind, brought on by a cold, and soon yielded to the 
proper treatment. I do assure you, simply and plainly, 
that I am now as well as ever. 

With regard to study, I do assure you that Mr. 
Grainger will not suffer us to study at all hard ; our 
work at present is mere play. I am always in bed at 
ten o'clock, and take two walks in the day, besides 
riding, when the weather will permit. 

Under these circumstances, my dear brother may set 
his mind perfectly at ease. Even change of air some- 
times occasions violent attacks, but they leave the 
patient better than they found him. 

I shall continue to drink wine, though I am convinced 
there is no necessity for it. My appetite is amazingly 
large — much larger than when at Nottingham. 

I shall come to an arrangement with Mr. Grainger 
immediately, and I hope you will not write to him about 


it. If Mr. Eddy, the surgeon, thinks it at all neces- 
sary for me to do this constantly, I declare to you that 
I will ; but remember, if I should form a habit of this 
now, it may be a disadvantage to me when possibly cir- 
cumstances may render it inconvenient — as when I am 
at college. 

My spirits are completely knocked up by the receipt 
of all the letters I have at one moment received. My 
mother got a gentleman to mention it to Mr. Dashwood, 
and still representing that my illness was occasioned by 
study — a thing than which nothing can be more remote 
from the truth, as I have, from conscientious motives, 
given up hard study until I shall find my health better. 

I cannot write more, as I have the other letters to 
answer. I am going to write to Barton, expressly to 
get advantage of the post for this day, in order that 
you may no longer give yourself a moment's uneasiness, 
where there is in reality no occasion. 

Give my affectionate love to James, 

And believe me, my dear Neville, 
Your truly affectionate Brother, 


One thing I had forgot — you mention my pecuniary 
matters — you make me blush when you do so. You 
may rest assured that I have no wants of that kind, 
nor am likely to have at present. Your brotherly love 
and anxiety towards me have sunk deep into my heart; 
and you may satisfy yourself with this, that whatever 
is necessary for my health shall not be spared, and that 
when I want the means of procuring these, I shall think 
it my duty to tell you so. 



Midw ay between Winteringbam and Hull, 
DEAR JAMES, Jan. 11th, 1805. 

You will not be surprised at the style of this letter, 
when I tell you it is written in the Winteringham Packet, 
on a heap of flour bags, surrounded by a drove of 14 pigs, 
who raise the most hideous roar every time the boat 
rolls. I write with a silver pen, and with a good deal 
of shaking, so you may expect very bad scribbling. I 
am now going to Hull, where I have a parcel to send 
to my mother, and I would not lose the opportunity of 

I am extremely glad that you are attentive to matters 
of such moment as are those of religion ; and I hope 
you do not relax in your seriousness, but continue to 
pray that God will enable you to walk in the paths of 
righteousness, which alone lead to peace. He alone, 
my dear James, is able to give you a heart to delight in 
his service, and to set at nought the temptations of the 
world. It may seem to you, in the first beginning of 
your Christian progress, that religion wears a very un- 
promising aspect, and that the gaieties of the world are 
indeed very delicious ; but I assure you, from what I 
have myself experienced, that the pleasures of piety 
are infinitely more exquisite than those of fashion and 
of sensual pursuits. It is true, they are not so violent, 
or so intoxicating (for they consist in one even tenor of 
mind, a lightness of heart, and sober cheerfulness, which 
none but those who have experienced can conceive); 
but they leave no sting behind them ,♦ they give plea- 
sure on reflection, and will soothe the mind in the dis- 


tant prospect. And who can say this of the world, or 
its enjoyments? 

Even those who seem to enter with the most spirit 
into the riotous and gaudy diversions of the world, are 
often known to confess that there is no real satisfac- 
tion in them ; that their gaiety is often forced, when 
their hearts are heavy ; and that they envy those who 
have chosen the more humble but pleasant paths of reli- 
gion and virtue. 

I am not at all particular as to the place of worship 
you may attend, so as it be under a serious preacher, 
and so as you attend regularly. I should think it a 
very good exercise for you, if you were to get a blank 
paper book, and were to write down in it any thing 
which may strike you in the sermons you hear on a 
Sunday; this would improve your style of writing, and 
teach you to think on what you hear. Pray endeavour 
to carry this plan into execution : I am sure you will 
find it worth the trouble. You attend the church now 
and then I conclude, and if you do, I should wish to 
direct your attention to our admirable liturgy, and avoid, 
if possible, remarking what may seem absurd in the 
manner it is repeated. 

I must not conceal from you that I am very sorry 
you do not attend some eminent minister in the church, 
such as Mr. Cecil, or Mr. Pratt, or Mr. Crowther, in 
preference to the meeting : since I am convinced a man 
runs less danger of being misled, or of building on 
false foundations, in the establishment, than out, and 
this too for plain reasons: — Dissenters are apt to think 
they are religious, because they are dissenters — ' for/ 
argue they, ' if we had not a regard for religion, why 
should we leave the establishment at all ? The very 
act of leaving it shews we have a regard for religion, 


because we manifest an aversion to its abuses.' Be- 
sides this, at the meeting-house you are not likely to 
hear plain and unwelcome truths so honestly told as in 
the church, where the minister is not so dependent on 
his flock, and the prayers are so properly selected, 
that you will meet with petitions calculated for all your 
wants, bodily and spiritual, without being left at the 
mercy of the minister to pray for what and in what 
manner he likes. Remember, these are not offered as 
reasons why you should always attend the church, but 
to put you in mind that there are advantages there 
which you should avail yourself of, instead of making 
invidious comparisons between the two institutions. 


DEAR BEN, Winteringham, Jan. 31st, 1805, 

I have long been convinced of the truth of what you 
say respecting the effects of close reading on a man's 
mind, in a religious point of view, and I am more and 
more convinced that literature is very rarely the source 
of satisfaction of mind to a Christian. I would wish 
you to steer clear of too abstracted and subtle a mode 
of thinking and reasoning, and you will so be happier 
than your friend. A relish for books will be a sweet 
source of amusement, and a salutary relaxation to you 
throughout life ; but let it not be more than a relish, if 
you value your own peace. I think, however, that you 
ought to strengthen your mind a little with logic, and 
for this purpose I would advise you to go through Euclid 
with sedulous and serious attention, and likewise to 
read Duncan through. You are too desultory a reader, 
and regard amusement too much : if you wish your read- 


ing in good earnest to amuse you when you are old, as 
well as now in your youth, you will take care to form 
a taste for substantial and sound authors, and will not 
be the less eager to study a work because it requires 
a little labour to understand it. 

After you have read Euclid, and amused yourself 
with Locke's sublime speculations, you will derive much 
pleasure from Butler's Analogy, without exception the 
most unanswerable demonstration of the folly of infi- 
delity that the world ever saw. 

Books like these will give you more strength of mind 
and consistent firmness, than either you or I now pos- 
sess ; while, on the other hand, the effeminate Panada 
of Magazines, Tales, and the tribe of penny- catching 
pamphlets, of which desultory readers are so fond, only 
tend to enervate the mind, and incapacitate it for every 
species of manly exertion. 

I continue to be better in health, although the wea- 
ther is a great obstacle to my taking a proper propor- 
tion of exercise. I have had a trip to Hull of late, and 

saw the famous painter R there, with whom I had 

a good deal of talk. He is a pious man, and a great 
astronomer ; but in manners and appearance, a com- 
plete artist. I rather think he is inclined to Hutchin- 
sonian principles, and entertains no great reverence for 
Sir Isaac Newton. 



MY DEAR BEN, Winteringham, 1st March, 1805. 

* * * * 

I hope and trust that you have at length arrived at 
that happy temperament of disposition, that although 
you have much cause of sadness within, you are yet 
willing to be amused with the variegated scenes around 
you, and to join, when occasions present themselves, 
in innocent mirth. Thus in the course of your pere- 
grinations, occurrences must continually arise, which, 
to a mind willing to make the best of every thing, will 
afford amusement of the chastest kind. Men and man- 
ners are a never-failing source of wonder and surprise, 
as they present themselves in their various phases. 
We may very innocently laugh at the brogue of a So- 
merset peasant — and I should think that person both 
cynical and surly, who could pass by a group of laugh- 
ing children, without participating in their delight, and 
joining in their laugh. It is a truth most undeniable, 
and most melancholy, that there is too much in human 
life which extorts tears and groans, rather than smiles. 
This, however, is equally certain, that our giving way 
to unremitting sadness on these accounts, so far from 
ameliorating the condition of mortality, only adds to the 
aggregate of human misery, and throws a gloom over 
those moments when a ray of light is permitted to visit 
the dark valley of life, and the heart ought to be making 
the best of its fleeting happiness. Landscape, too, 
ought to be a source of delight to you ; fine buildings, 
objects of nature, and a thousand things which it would 
be tedious to name. I should call the man, who could 
survey such things as these without being affected with 


pleasure, either a very weak-minded and foolish per- 
son, or one of no mind at all. To be always sad, and 
always pondering on internal griefs, is what I call utter 
selfishness : I would not give two-pence for a being 
who is locked up in his own sufferings, and whose 
heart cannot respond to the exhilarating cry of nature, 
or rejoice because he sees others rejoice. The loud 
and unanimous chirping of the birds on a fine sunny 
morning pleases me, because I see they are happy ; 
and I should be very selfish, did I not participate in 
their seeming joy. Do not, however, suppose that I 
mean to exclude a man's own sorrows from his thoughts, 
since that is an impossibility, and, were it possible, 
would be prejudicial to the human heart. I only mean 
that the whole mind is not to be incessantly engrossed 
w T ith its cares, but with cheerful elasticity to bend itself 
occasionally to circumstances, and give way without 
hesitation to pleasing emotions. To be pleased with 
little, is one of the greatest blessings. 

Sadness is itself sometimes infinitely more pleasing 
than joy ; but this sadness must be of the expansive 
and generous kind, rather referring to mankind at 
large, than the individual ; and this is a feeling not in- 
compatible with cheerfulness and a contented spirit. 
There is difficulty, however, in setting bounds to a 
pensive disposition ; I have felt it, and I have felt that 
I am not always adequate to the task. I sailed from 
Hull to Barton the day before yesterday, on a rough 
and windy day, in a vessel filled with a marching regi- 
ment of soldiers ; the band played finely, and I was 
enjoying the many pleasing emotions, which the water, 
sky, winds, and musical instruments excited, when my 
thoughts were suddenly called away to more melan- 
choly subjects. A girl, genteelly dressed, and with 
2 a 2 


a countenance which, for its loveliness, a painter might 
have copied for Hebe, with a loud laugh seized me by 
the great coat, and asked me to lend it her : she was 
one of those unhappy creatures who depend on the 
brutal and licentious for a bitter livelihood, and was 
now following in the train of one of the officers. I was 
greatly affected by her appearance and situation, and 
more so by that of another female who was with her, 
and who, with less beauty, had a wild sorrowfulness in 
her face, which shewed she knew her situation. This 
incident, apparently trifling, induced a train of reflec- 
tions, which occupied me fully during a walk of six or 
seven miles to our parsonage. At first I wished that I 
had fortune to erect an asylum for all the miserable and 
destitute : — and there was a soldier's wife with a wan 
and haggard face, and a little infant in her arms, whom 
I would also have wished to place in it : — I then grew 
out of humour with the world, because it was so un- 
feeling and so miserable, and because there was no cure 
for its miseries ; and I wished for a lodging in the wil- 
derness where I might hear no more of wrongs, afflic- 
tion, or vice : but, after all my speculations, I found 
there was a reason for these things in the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ, and that to those who sought it there was 
also a cure. So I banished my vain meditations, and, 
knowing that God's providence is better able to direct 
the affairs of men than our wisdom, I leave them in his 



DEAR MOTHER, Winteringham, 5th Feb. 1805. 

* * * * 

The spectacles for my father are, I hope, such as will 
enable him to read with ease, although they are not set 
in silver. If they hurt him through stiffness, I think the 
better way will be to wear them with the two end joints 
shut to, and with a piece of ribbon to go round the back 
of the head, &c. The Romaine's Sermons, and the 
Cheap Tracts, are books which I thought might be use- 
ful. You may think I am not privileged to make pre- 
sents, since they will in the end come out of your 
pocket ; but I am not in want of cash at present, and 
have reason to believe, from my own calculations, I 
shall not have occasion to call upon you for what I 
know you can so ill spare. I was quite vexed after- 
ward that I did not send you all the volumes of the 
Cheap Repository, as the others, which are the general 
tracts, and such as are more entertaining, would have 
been well adapted to your library. When I next go to 
Hull, I purpose buying the remaining volumes; and 
when I next have occasion to send a parcel, you will re- 
ceive them. The volume you have got contains all the 
Sunday reading tracts, and on that account I send it se- 
parately. As I have many things to remind me of my 
sister Smith, I thought (though we neither of us need 
such mementos) that she would not be averse to receive 
the sermons of the great and good, though in some re- 
spects singular, Romaine, at my hands, as what old- 
fashioned people call a token of a brother's love, but what 
in more courtly phrase is denominated a memento of 

2 a 3 



MY DEAR SIR, Winteringham, 17th Feb. 1805. 

I blush when I look back to the date of your too long 
unanswered letter, and were I not satisfied that the 
contents of my sheet of post must always be too unim- 
portant to need apology, I should now make one. 

The fine and spirited song (song in the noblest sense 
of the word) which you sent me, on the projected in- 
vasion, demands my best thanks. The fervid patriotism 
which animates it would, I think, find an echo in every 
bosom in England ; and I hope and trust the world has 
not been deprived of so appropriate an exhortation. I 
perceive, however, one thing, which is, that your fire 
has been crampt by the \ crambo' of the rhyme, at all 
times a grievous shackle to poets, and yet capable of 
such sweet and expressive modulation, as makes us hug 
our chains, and exult in the hard servitude. My poor 
neglected muse has lain absolutely unnoticed by me for 
the last four months, during which period I have 
been digging in the mines of Scapula for Greek roots ; 
and instead of drinking, with eager delight, the 
beauties of Virgil, have been cutting and drying his 
phrases for future use. The place where I live is on 
the banks of the Humber : here no Sicilian river, but 
rough with cold winds, and bordered with killing 
swamps. What with neglect, and what with the cli- 
mate, so congenial to rural meditation, I fear my 
good Genius, who was wont to visit me with nightly 
visions ' in woods and brakes, and by the river's marge,' 
is now dying of a fen-ague ; and I shall thus probably 
emerge from my retreat, not a hair-brained son of ima- 


gmation, but a sedate black-lettered book-worm, with 
a head like an etymologicon magnum. 

Forgive me this flippancy, in which I am not very apt 
to indulge, and let me offer my best wishes that it is not 
with your muse as with mine. Eloquence has always 
been thought akin to poetry : though her efforts are not 
so effectually perpetuated, she is not the less honoured, 
or her memory the less carefully preserved. Many 
very plausible hypotheses are contradicted by facts, 
yet I should imagine that the genius which prompted 
your ' Conspiracy' would be no common basis on 
which to erect a superstructure of oratorical fame, J Est 
enim oratori finitimus Poeta, numeris adstrictior paulo, 
verborum autem licentia liberior, multis vero ornandi 
generibus socius, ac pene par/ &c. You, no doubt, 
are well acquainted with this passage, in the 1st Dial, 
de Orat. so I shall not go on with it ; but I encourage 
a hope, that I shall one day see a living proof of the 
truth of this position in you. Do not quite exclude me 
from a fellow-feeling with you in your oratorical pur- 
suits, for you know I must make myself a fit herald for 
the important message I am ordained to deliver, and I 
shall bestow some pains to this end. No inducement 
whatever should prevail on me to enter into orders, if 
I were not thoroughly convinced of the truth of the re- 
ligion I profess, as contained in the New Testament; 
and I hope that whatever I know to be the truth, I 
shall not hesitate to proclaim, however much it may be 
disliked or despised. The discovery of truth, it is no 
torious, ought to be the object of all true philosophy ; 
and the attainment of this end must, to a philosopher, 
be the greatest of all possible blessings. If then a man 
be satisfied that he has arrived at the fountain-head of 
pure truth, and yet, because the generality of men 


hold different sentiments, dares not avow it, but tacitly 
gives assent to falsehood, he withholds from men what, 
according to his principles, it is for their good to know 
— he prefers his personal good to truth — and he proves 
that, whatever he may profess, he is not imbued with 
the spirit of true philosophy. 

I have some intention of becoming a candidate for 
Sir William Brown's medals this year ; and, if I should, 
it would be a great satisfaction to me to subject my at- 
tempts to so good a classic as I understand you to be. 
In the mean time, you will confer a real favour on me, 
if you will transcribe some of your Latin verses for me, 
as I am anxious to see the general character of modern 
Latin as it is received at Cambridge ; and elegant 
verses always give me great pleasure, in whatever lan- 
guage I read them. Such I know yours will be. 
* * * * 

In this remote corner of the world, where we have 
neither books nor booksellers, 1 am as ignorant of the 
aifairs of the literary world as an inhabitant of Siberia. 
Sometimes the newspaper gives me some scanty hints ; 
but, as I do not see a review, I cannot be said to hold 
converse with the Republic. Pray, is the voice of the 
Muses quite suspended in the clang of arms, or do they 
yet sing, though unheeded ? All literary information 
will be to me quite new and interesting ; but do not 
suppose I hope to intrude on your more valuable time 
with these things. When you shall have leisure, I hope 
to hear from you ; and whatever you say, coming from 
you, it cannot fail to interest. 

Believe me, dear Sir, 

Very sincerely yours, 




DEAR KIRKE, Winteringham, 16th March, 1805. 

* * * * 

I was affected by the death of young B . He once 

called upon me with Mr, H , when I was very ill, 

and on that occasion Mr. H ■ said to us both, 

* Young men, I would have you both pack off to Lisbon, 

for you won't last long if you stay here' Mr. H was 

then about to set out for Hamburgh ; and he told me 
afterward that he never expected to see me again, for 
that he thought I was more desperately gone in con- 
sumption than B . Yet you see how the good pro- 
vidence of God has spared me, and I am yet living, as 
I trust, to serve him with all my strength. Had I died 
then, I should have perished for ever ; but I have now 
hope, through the Lord Jesus, that I shall see the day 
of death with joy, and possibly be the means of rescu- 
ing others from a similar situation. I certainly thought 
of the ministry at first with improper motives, and my 
views of Christianity were for along time very obscure ; 
but I have, I trust, gradually been growing out of dark- 
ness into light, and I feel a well-grounded hope, that 
God has sanctified my heart for great and valuable pur- 
poses. Woe unto me if I frustrate his designs ! 


DEAR NEVILLE, Winteringham, April, 1805. 

* * * * 

You wrote me a long sheet this last time, and I have 

every reason to be satisfied with it ; yet I sometimes wish 

I could make you write closer and smaller. Since your 


mind must necessarily be now taken up with other 
things, I dare not press my former inquiries on sub- 
jects of reading. When your leisure season comes, I 
shall be happy to hear from you on these topics. 

It is a remark of an ancient philosophical poet (Ho- 
race), that every man thinks his neighbour's condition 
happier than his own; and, indeed, common experience 
shews, that we are too apt to entertain romantic notions 
of absent, and to think meanly of present things ; to 
extol what we have had no experience of, and to be dis- 
contented with what we possess. The man of business 
sighs for the sweets of leisure : the person who, with a 
taste for reading, has few opportunities for it, thinks 
that man's life the sum of bliss, who has nothing to do 
but to study. Yet it often happens that the condition 
of the envier is happier than that of the envied. You 
have read Dr. Johnson's tale of the poor Tallow- 
Chandler, who, after sighing for the quiet of a country 
life, at length scraped money enough to retire, but found 
his long-sought-for leisure so unsupportable, that he 
made a voluntary offer to his successor to come up to 
town every Friday, and melt tallow for him gratis. It 
would be so with half the men of business, who sigh so 
earnestly for the sweets of retirement ; and you may 
receive it as one of the maturest observations I have 
been able to make on human life, that there is no con- 
dition so happy as that of him who leads a life of full 
and constant employment. His amusements have a 
zest which men of pleasure would gladly undergo all 
his drudgery to experience : and the regular succession 
of business, provided his situation be not too anxious, 
drives away from his brain those harassing specula- 
tions which are continually assaulting the man of leisure, 
and the man of reading. The studious man, though 


his pleasures are of the most refined species, finds cares 
and disturbing thoughts in study. To think much and 
deeply will soon make a man sad. His thoughts, ever 
on the wing, often carry him where he shudders to be 
even in imagination. He is like a man in sleep — 
sometimes his dreams are pleasing, but at others, horror 
itself takes possession of his imagination; and this ine- 
quality of mind is almost inseparable from much medi- 
tation and mental exercise. From this cause it often 
happens, that lettered and philosophical men are peev- 
ish in their tempers, and austere in their manners. The 
inference I would draw from these remarks is gene- 
rally this, that although every man carries about him 
the seeds of happiness or misery in his own bosom, yet 
it is a truth not liable to many exceptions, that men 
are more equally free from anxiety and care, in propor- 
tion as they recede from the more refined and mental, 
to the grosser and bodily employments and modes of 
life ; but that the happiest condition is placed in the 
middle, between the extremes of both. Thus a person 
with a moderate love of reading, and few opportunities 
of indulging it, would be inclined to envy one in my 
situation, because such a one has nothing to do but to 
read : but I could tell him, that though my studious plea- 
sures are more comprehensive than his, they are not 
more exquisite, and that an occasional banquet gives 
more delight than a continual feast. Reading should 
be dearer to you than to me, because I always read, 
and you but seldom. 

Almond and I took a small boat on Monday, and 
set out for Hull, a distance of thirteen miles, as some 
compute it, though others make it less. We went very 
merrily with a good pair of oars, until we came within 
four miles of Hull, when, owing to some hard working, 


we were quite exhausted ; but as the tide was nearly 
clown, and the shore soft, we could not get to any vil- 
lages on the banks. At length we made Hull, and just 
arrived in time to be grounded in the middle of the 
harbour, without any possible means of getting ashore 
till the flux or flood. As we were half famished, I de- 
termined to wade ashore for provisions, and had the 
satisfaction of getting above the knees in mud almost 
every step I made. When I got ashore, I recollected 
I had given Almond all my cash. This was a terrible 
dilemma — to return back was too laborious, and I ex- 
pected the tide flowing every minute. At last I deter- 
mined to go to the inn where we usually dine when we 
go to Hull, and try how much credit I possessed there, 
and I happily found no difficulty in procuring refresh- 
ments, which I carried off in triumph to the boat. Here 
new difficulties occurred; for the tide had flowed in 
considerably during my absence, although not suffi- 
ciently to move the boat, so that my wade was much 
worse back than it had been before. On our return, a 
most placid and calm day was converted into a cloudy 
one, and we had a brisk gale in our teeth. Knowing 
we were quite safe, we struck across from Hull to Bar- 
ton ; and when we were off Hazel Whelps, a place 
which is always rough, we had some tremendous swells, 
which we weathered admirably, and (bating our getting 
on the side of a bank, owing to the deceitful appearance 
of the coast) we had a prosperous voyage home, having 
rowed twenty-six miles in less than five hours. 



MY DEAR KIRKE, Winteringham, Apiil 6th, 1805. 


Your complaint of the lukewarmness of your affections 
towards spiritual things, is a very common one with 
Christians. We all feel it ; and if it be attended with 
an earnest desire to acquit ourselves in this respect, 
and to recover our wonted fervour, it is a complaint in- 
dicative of our faithfulness. In cases of Christian ex- 
perience, I submit my own opinion to any body's, and 
have too serious a distrust of it myself, to offer it as a 
rule or maxim of unquestionable authority ; but I have 
found, and think, that the best remedy against luke- 
warmness, is an obstinate persisting in prayer, until 
our affections be moved ; and a regular habit of going 
to religious duties with a prepared and meek heart, 
thinking more of obtaining communion with God, than 
of spending so many minutes in seeking it. Thus, when 
we pray, we must not kneel down with the idea that 
we are to spend so many minutes in supplication, and 
after the usual time has elapsed, go, about our regular 
business ; we must remind ourselves that we have an 
object in prayer, and that until that object be attained, 
that is, until we are satisfied that our Father hears us, 
we are not to conceive that our duty is performed, al- 
though we may be in the posture of prayer for an hour. 

2 b 



MY DEAR MOTHER, Winteringham, 12th April, 1805. 

# * * * 

I have constructed a planetarium, or orrery, of a very 
simple kind, -which cannot fail to give even children an 
idea of the order and course of the heavenly bodies. I 
shall write a few plain and simple lectures upon it, with 
lessons to be got off by heart by the children, so that 
you will be able, without any difficulty, to teach them 
the rudiments of astronomy. The machine, simple as 
it may seem, is such that you cannot fail to understand 
the planetary system by it ; and were it not that I cannot 
afford the additional expense, I could make it much more 
complete and interesting. You must not expect any 
thing striking in the instrument itself, as it only con- 
sists of an index-plate, with rods and balls. — It will ex- 
plain the situation of the planets, their courses, the mo- 
tion of the earth and the moon, the causes of the seasons, 
the different lengths of day and night, the reason of 
eclipses, transits, &c. When you have seen it, and 
read the explanatory lectures, you will be able to judge 
of its plainness ; and if you understand it, you may 
teach geography scholars its use. Should it fail in 
other points of view, it will be useful to Maria and Ca- 

* * * * 

Remember to keep up the plan of family worship on 
Sundays with strictness until I come, and it will pro- 
bably pave the way for still farther improvements, which 
I may, perhaps, have an opportunity of making while 
I stay with you. Let Maria and Catharine be more 
particularly taught to regard Sunday as a day set apart 
from all worldly occupations. Let them have every 


thing prepared for the Sabbath on the preceding day ; 
and be carefully warned, on that day in particular, to 
avoid paying too great an attention to dress. I know 
how important habits like these will be to their future 
happiness even in this world, and I therefore press this 
with earnestness. 


DEAR NEVILLE," Winteringham, 20th May, 1805. 

* * * # 

My first business must be to thank you for the * * * *, 
which I received by Mr, K. Swann; you must not sup- 
pose that I feel reluctance to lie under obligations to so 
affectionate a brother, when I say, that I have felt un- 
easy ever since on more accounts than one. I am con- 
vinced, in the first place, that you have little to spare ; 
and I fear, in the second, that I shall prove a hinder- 
ance to a measure which I know to be necessary for 
your health ; I mean your going to some watering-place 
for the benefit of sea-bathing. I am aware of the na- 
ture of injuries received at the joints, especially the 
knee; and I am sure nothing will strengthen your knee 
more for the present, and prevent the recurrence of dis- 
ease in it for the future. I would have you, therefore, 
if by any means you can be spared in London, go to 
one of the neighbouring coasts, and take sufficient time 
to recover your strength. You may pitch upon some 
pleasant place, where there will be sufficient company 
to amuse you, and not so much as to create bustle, and 
make a toil of reflection, and turn retirement into riot. 
Since you must be as sensible as I am, that this is ne- 
2 b 2 


cessary for your health, I shall feel assured, if you do 
not go, that I am the cause, a consideration I would 
gladly spare myself. 


MY DEAR BROTHER, Nottingham, June, 1805. 

I wrote you a long letter from Winteringham some 
time ago, which I now apprehend you have never re- 
ceived, or if you have, some more important concerns 
have occupied your time than writing to me on general 
subjects. Feeling, however, rather weary to-night, I 
have determined to send this sheet to you, as a proof 
that, if I am not punctual, I am certainly far from a ce- 
remonious correspondent. 

Our adventure on the Humber you should have learnt 
from K, Swann, who, with much minuteness, filled up 
three sides of a letter to his friend with the account. 
The matter was simply this: He, Almond, and myself, 
made an excursion about twelve or fourteen miles up 
the Humber ; on our return ran aground, were left by 
the tide on a sand-bank, and were obliged to remain 
six hours in an open boat, exposed to a heavy rain, high 
wind, and piercing cold, until the tide rose, when two 
men brought a boat to our assistance. We got home 
about twelve o'clock at night : no evil consequences en- 
sued, owing to our using every exertion we could think 
of to keep warmth in our bodies. 



MY DEAR FRIEND, Nottingham, 27th June, 1805. 

It is some time since I wrote to you, and still longer 
since I beard from you ; but you are acquainted witb 
my unceremonious disposition, and will, I hope, pardon 
me for obtruding an unbidden guest on your notice. I 
have a question to ask of you in the first place, and I 
shall then fill up my letter with all the familiarity of a 
man talking by your side, and saying any thing, rather 
than be accused of saying nothing. My leisure will 
scarcely permit me to write to you again while I am 
here, and I shall therefore make the best use of the 

present occasion. 

' * * # # 

We have been fagging through Rollin's Ancient 
History, and some other historical books, as I believe, 
to no great purpose. Rollin is a valuable and truly 
pious writer, but so crammed and garnished with re- 
flections, that you lose the thread of the story, while 
the poor man is prosing about the morality of it; when, 
too, after all, the moral is so obvious as not to need 
insisting upon. You may give my compliments to your 
good friends Galen, Hippocrates, and Paracelsus, and 
tell them I had much rather pay them my devoirs at a 
distance, than come into close contact with them or 
their cathartics. Medical Greek, and medical Latin, 
would act as a sudorific upon any man, who should 
hear their tremendous technicals pronounced with the 
true ore rotundo of a Scotch physician. 

And now, my dear Sir, we will cry a truce to flip- 
pancy — I have neither time nor inclination to indulge in 
it to excess. You and I have been some time asunder 
in the pursuit of our several studies ; you to the V 
2 b 3 


and busy seat of gaiety % fashion, and folly; I to the 
retired haunts of a secluded village, and the studious 
walls of a silent and ancient parsonage. At first sight 
one would think that my lot had been most profitable, 
as undoubtedly it is most secure; but when we come 
to consider the present state of things in the capital, 
the boundless opportunities of spiritual improvement 
which offer themselves, and the very superior society 
which every serious man may there join with, the tables 
seemed turned in your favour. I hope and trust this 
is really the case, and that with philosophical strength 
of mind, you have turned an unregarding ear to the 
voice of folly, and continued fixed upon the serener and 
far more exquisite occupations of a religious life. I 
have been cultivating in retirement, by slow and imper- 
ceptible degrees, a closer communion with God ; but 
you have been led, as it were, in triumph by the ener- 
getic discourses of the many good men whom you have 
had the opportunity of hearing, to heights of religious 
satisfaction, which I can at present only sigh for at a 
distance. I appeal to you whether the grace of God 
is not the source of exquisite enjoyments ? What can 
be more delightful than that sweet and placid calm 
which it casts over one's mind ; or than the tenderness 
it sheds abroad in our hearts, both with regard to God, 
and our poor fellow-labourers ? Even worldly-minded 
men confess that this life is, at best, but a scene of 
anxiety, and disappointment, and distress. How ab- 
surd then, and inconsistent must be their conduct, 
when, in spite of this so general and confirmed an ex- 
perience, they neglect what can alone alleviate the sor- 
rows of this life, and provide for the happiness of the 
next? How much more is he to be envied, who can ex- 
claim with St. Paul, ■ The world is crucified unto me, and 


I unto the world* * I have learnt, in whatsoever state I 
am, therewith to be content.' i The world passeth away and 
the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth 
for ever.'* There is in truth, an indescribable satisfac- 
tion in the service of God; his grace imparts such com- 
posure in time of trouble, and such fortitude in the anti- 
cipation of it, at the same time that it increases our plea- 
sures by making them innocent, that the Christian, 
viewed either as militant in this troublesome scene, or 
as a traveller who is hastening, by a difficult, but short 
journey, to a better country ; is a most enviable and 
happy character. The man who lives without God in 
the world, on the other hand, has neither rest here, nor 
certainty or hope for the future. His reflections must, 
at all times, be dubious and dark, not to say distressing ; 
and his most exquisite enjoyments must have a sting of 
fear and apprehension in them, which is felt when the 
gay hour is over, and its joys no more remembered. 
Many wicked and dissipated men sigh in secret for the 
state of the righteous, but they conceive there are in- 
superable obstacles in the way of religion, and that they 
must amend their lives before they can hope for accept- 
ance, or even dare to seek acceptance with God. But 
what a miserable delusion is this I If this were truly the 
case, how awful would be the condition of the sinner ! 
for we know that our hearts are so depraved, and so 
obstinately addicted to sin, that they cannot forsake it 
without some more than mortal power to cut asunder the 
bonds of innate corruption, and loosen the affections 
from this sinful bondage. I was talking a few days 
ago with a young surgeon who is just returned from 
the East Indies, and was expostulating with him on his 
dissolute habits : ' Sir,' said he, ' I know you are happy, 
and I would give worlds to be able to subdue my pas- 


sions ; but it is impossible, it never can be done : I 
have made resolution upon resolution, and the only 
effect has been that I have plunged the deeper into vice 
than ever.' What could be a stronger illustration of 
the Scripture truth, That man's heart is naturally cor- 
rupt, and desperately wicked? Since wickedness is 
misery, can we conceive that an all-good and benevo- 
lent God would have originally created man with such 
a disposition ? It is sin which hath made the world a 
vale of tears. It is the power of the cross of Jesus 
Christ alone that can redeem us from our natural de- 
pravity :— Yes, my friend, ' We know on whom we have 
believed; and we are persuaded that he is able to keep 
that which we have committed unto him against the 
great day.' ' When I occasionally reflect on the history 
of the times when the great Redeemer appeared, be- 
hold God preparing his way before him, uniting all the 
civilized world in one language, (Greek,) for the speedier 
disseminating of the blessed Gospel ; and then, when I 
compare his precepts with those of the most famous of 
ancient sages, and meditate on his life, his manners, his 
sufferings, and cruel death, I am lost in wonder, love, 
and gratitude. Such a host of evidence attended him, 
as no power but that of the devil could withstand. His 
doctrines, compared with the morality of the then world, 
seem indeed to have dropt down from heaven. His 
meekness, his divine compassion and pity for, and for- 
giveness of, his bitterest enemies, convinces me that he 
was indeed the Word ; that he was what he professed 
to be, God, in his Son, reconciling the world to him- 
self. These thoughts open my eyes to my own wretched 
ingratitude and disregard of so merciful and compas- 
sionate a master; under such impressions, I could ar- 
dently long to be separated altogether from the affairs 


of this life, and live alone to my Redeemer. But, alas! 
this does not last long — the pleasing outside of the de- 
lusive world entices my heart away; beauty smiles 
me into a disgust of religion, and the fear of singularity 
frowns me into the concealment of it. How artfully 
does the arch-deceiver insinuate himself into our hearts I 
He tells us, that there is a deal of unnecessary morose- 
ness in religion, a deal too many humiliating conditions 
in the Gospel, and many ignorant absurdities in its pro- 
fessors ; while, on the other hand, the polite world is so 
cheerful and pleasing, so full of harmless gaiety and 
refined elegance, that we cannot but love it. This is 
an insidious species of reasoning. Could we but see 
things in their true colours, were but the false varnish 
off, the society\of the Gospel would seem an assembly 
of angels, and that of the world a congregation of 
devils : but it is the best way not to reason with the 
tempter. I have a Talisman, which at once puts to 
flight all his arguments ; it is the name of my Saviour, 
and against that the gates of hell shall not prevail. That 
is my anchor and my confidence : I can go with that to 
the bed of death, and lift up the eyes of the dying and 
despairing wretch to the great Intercessor ; I can go 
with this into the society of the cheerful, and come 
away with lightness of heart, and entertainment of spirit. 
In every circumstance of life I can join with Job, who, 
above fourteen hundred years before Jesus Christ, ex- 
claims, in the fervour of holy anticipation, ' I know that 
my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter 
day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms 
destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God/ 

The power of the Gospel was never more strongly 
illustrated than in the late mission to Greenland. 
These poor and unlettered tribes, who inhabit nearly 


the extremest verge of animal existence, heard the dis- 
courses of the Danish missionaries on the being of a 
God with stupid unconcern, expressed their assent to 
every thing that was proposed to them, and then hoped to 
extort some present for their complacency. For ten years 
did a very learned and pious man labour among them, 
without the conversion of a single soul. He thought 
that he must prove to them the existence of a God, and 
the original stain of our natures, before he could preach 
the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, and he could never 
get over this first step ; for they either could not un- 
derstand it, or would not, and when no presents were 
to be had, turned away in disgust. At length he saw 
his error, and the plan of operations was altered. Jesus 
Christ was preached in simplicity, without any prepa- 
ration. The Greenlanders seemed thoughtful, amazed, 
and confounded ; their eyes were opened to their de- 
praved and lost state. The Gospel was received every 
where with ardent attention. The flame spread like 
wild-fire over the icy wastes of Greenland ; numbers 
came from the remotest recesses of the Northern Ocean 
to hear the word of life ; and the greater part of the 
population of that extensive country has in time been 
baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost. 

I have now filled my sheet. — Pardon my prolixity, 
and believe me, my prayers are offered up, frequently, 
for your continuance of the path you have chosen. 
For myself, I need your prayers — may we be a mutual 
assistance to each other, and to our fellow-labourers 
in the Lord Jesus. 

Believe me your sincere friend, 




Nottingham, 6th July, 1805. 

* * * * * 

I beg you will admire the elegance of texture and 
shape of the sheet on which I have the honour to write 
to you, and beware lest, in drawing your conclusions, 
you conceive that I am turned exciseman; — for I 
assure you 1 write altogether in character; — a poor 
Cambridge scholar, with a patrimony of a few old 
books, an ink-horn, and some sundry quires of paper, 
manufactured as the envelopes of pounds of tea, but 
converted into repositories of learning and taste. 

The classics are certainly in disrepute. The ladies 
have no more reverence for Greek and Latin, than they 
have for an old peruke, or the ruffles of Queen Anne. 
I verily believe that they would hear Homer's Greek 
without evidencing one mark of terror and awe, even 
though spouted by a university orator, or a Westmin- 
ster Stentor. O temporal mores! tire rural elegance 
of the twanging French horn, and the vile squeak of 
the Italian fiddle, are more preferred than all the energy, 
and all the sublimity of all the Greek and Roman 
orators, historians, poets, and philosophers, put toge- 
ther. Now, Sir, as a classic, I cannot bear to have the 
honourable fame of the ancients thus despised and con- 
temned, and therefore I have a controversy with a all 
the beaux and belles, Frenchmen and Italians. When 
they tell me that I walk by rule and compass, that I 
balance my body with strict regard to the centre of 
gravity, and that I have more Greek in my pate 
than grace in my limbs, I can bear it all in sullen 
silence, for you know it must be a libel, since I am no 


mathematician, and therefore cannot have learned to 
walk ill by system. As for grace, I do believe, since I 
read Xenophon, I am become a very elegant man, and 
in due time shall be able to spout Pindar, dancing in 
due gradation the advancing, retrograde, and medium 
steps, according to the regular process of the strophe, 
antistrophe, and epode. You and I will be very fashion- 
able men, after the manner of the Greeks : we will in- 
stitute an orchestra for the exercise of the ars saltandi, 
and will recline at our meals on the legitimate Tricli- 
nium of the ancients — only banish all modern beaux 
and belles, to whom I am a professed and declared 

So much for flippancy — 

. Vale ! S. R. V. B. E. E. Q. V. 



MY DEAR SIR, Brigg, near Winteringham, July, 1805. 

I have just missed you at Lincoln, where I had some 
expectations of seeing you, and had not circumstances 
prevented, I had certainly waited there till to-morrow 
morning for that purpose. This letter, which I wrote 
at Brigg, I shall convey to you at Kirton, by some per- 
son going to the session ; many of whom, I have no 
doubt, are to be found in this litigious little town. 

Your mis-directed epistle, to my great sorrow, never 
reached my hands. As I was very anxious to get it, I 
made many inquiries at the post-olnces round ; but 
they were all in vain. I consider this as a real loss, 
and I hope you will regard me as still under the pres- 
sure of vexation, until I receive some substitute from 
your hands. 


Had I any certain expectation of hearing you ad- 
dress the court or jury sworn at Kirton, no circum- 
stances should prevent me from being present ; so do I 
long to mark the dawnings of that eloquence which 
will one day ring through every court in the Midland 
Circuit. I think the noise of * * *, the overbearing 
petulance of * * *, and the decent assurance of ¥ * *, 
will readily yield to that pure, chaste, and manly elo- 
quence, which, I have no doubt, you chiefly cultivate. 
It seems to me, who am certainly no very competent 
judge, that there is a uniform mode, or art, of pleading 
in our courts, which is in itself faulty, and is moreover 
a bar to the higher excellencies. You know, before a 
barrister begins, in what manner he will treat the sub- 
ject; you anticipate his positiveness, his complete con- 
fidence in the stability of his case, his contempt of his 
opponent, his voluble exaggeration, and the vehemence 
of his indignation. All these are as of course. It is 
no matter what sort of a face the business assume : if 
Mr. be all impetuosity, astonishment, and indig- 
nation on one side, we know he would not have been 
a whit less impetuous, less astonished, or less indig- 
nant, on the other, had he happened to have been re- 
tained. It is true, this assurance of success, this con- 
tempt of an opponent, and dictatorial decision in speak- 
ing, are calculated to have effect on the minds of a 
jury; and if it be the business of a counsel to obtain 
his ends by any means, he is right to adopt them ; but 
the misfortune is, that all these things are mechanical, 
and as much in the power of the opposite counsel as in 
your own ; so that it is not so much who argues best, 
as who speaks last, loudest, or longest. True elo- 
quence, on the other hand, is confident only where 
there is real ground for confidence, trusts more to 
2 c 


reason and facts than to imposing declamation, and 
seeks rather to convince than dazzle. The obstreperous 
rant of a pleader may, for a while, intimidate a jury ; 
but plain and manly argument, delivered in a candid 
and ingenuous manner, will more effectually work upon 
their understandings, and will make an impression on 
which the froth of declamation will be lost. I think a 
man who would plead in this manner, would gain the 
confidence of a jury, and would find the avenues of 
their hearts much more open, than a man of more as- 
surance, who, by too much confidence, where there is 
much doubt, and too much vehemence where there is 
greater need of coolness, puts his hearers continually 
in mind that he is pleading for hire. There seems to 
be so much beauty in truth, that I could wish our bar- 
risters would make a distinction between cases, in their 
opinion well or ill-founded, embarking their whole 
heart and soul in the one, and contenting themselves 
with a perspicuous and forcible statement of their 
client's case in the other. 

Pardon my rambling. The cacoethes scribendi can 
only be used by indulgence, and we have all a propen- 
sity to talk about things we do not understand. 

DEAR NEVILLE, Winteringham, August 20th, 1805. 

I am very sensible of all your affection, in your anxiety 
that I should not diminish my books ; but I am by no 
means relieved from the anxiety which, on more accounts 
than one, I am under, as to my present situation, so 
great a burden to the family, when I ought to be a 
support. My father made some heavy complaints when 


I was at home ; and though I am induced to believe 
that he is enough harassed to render it very excusable, 
yet I cannot but feel strongly the peculiarity of my 
situation ; and, at my age, feel ashamed that I should 
add to his burdens. At present I have my hands com- 
pletely tied behind me. When I get to college, I hope 
to have more opportunities of advantage, and, if I am 
fortunate, I shall probably relieve my father and mother 
from the weight which I now lay upon them. I wish 
you, if you read this letter to my mother, to omit this 


DEAR SIR, Winteringham, Sept. 10th, 1805. 

Your letter has at length reached me at this place, 
where I have been for the last ten months employed in 
classical reading with Mr. Grainger. It gives me plea- 
sure to hear of you, and of poetry : for, since I came 
here, I have not only been utterly shut out from all inter- 
course with the lettered world, but have totally laid aside 
the pen of inspiration. I have been actuated to this by 
a sense of duty ; for I wish to prove that I have not 
coveted the ministerial office through the desire of 
learned leisure, but with an ardent wish to do my duty 
as a teacher of the truth. I should blush to present 
myself as a candidate for that office in an unqualified 
and unprepared state ; and as I have placed my idea of 
the necessary qualifications, very high, all the time be- 
tween now and my taking my degree will be little enough 
for these purposes alone. I often, however, cast a look 
of fond regret to the darling occupations of my younger 
hours, and the tears rush into my eyes, as I fancy I see 
2 c 2 


the few wild flowers of poetic genius, with which I 
have been blessed, withering with neglect. Poetry 
has been to me something more than amusement ; it 
has been a cheerful companion when I have had no 
other to fly to, and a delightful solace when consolation 
has been in some measure needful. I cannot, there- 
fore, discard so old and faithful a friend without deep 
regret, especially when I reflect that, stung by my in- 
gratitude, he may desert me for ever ! 

With regard to your intended publication, you do 
me too much honour by inserting my puerilities along 
with such good company as I know I shall meet there. 
I wish I could present you with some sonnets worthy 
of your work. I have looked back amongst my old 
papers, and find a few verses under that name, which 
were written between the time when ' Clifton Grove' 
was sent to the press, and its final appearance. The 
looking over these papers has recalled a little of my 
old warmth, and I have scribbled some lines which, as 
they owe their rise to your letter, I may fairly (if I have 
room) present you. I cannot read the sonnets which 
I have found amongst my papers with pleasure, and 
therefore I shall not presume to shew them to you. I 
shall anxiously expect the publication of your work. 

I shall be in Cambridge next month, being admitted 
a sizar at St. John's. Trinity would have suited my 
plans better, but the expenses of that college are greater. 

With thanks for your kind remembrance of me, I re- 
main, Dear Sir, 

Very respectfully and thankfully yours, 


Yes, my stray steps have wander'd, wander'd far 
From thee, and long, heart- soothing Poesy ! 
And many a flower, which in the passing time 
My heart hath register'd, nipped by the chill 
Of undeserved neglect, hath shrunk and died. 
Heart-soothing Poesy ! — Though thou hast ceased 
To hover o'er the many- voiced strings 
Of my long silent lyre, yet thou canst still 
Call the warm tear from its thrice-hallow'd cell, 
And with recalled images of bliss 
Warm my reluctant heart. — Yes, I would throw, 
Once more would throw, a quick and hurried hand 
O'er the responding chords. — It hath not ceased — 
It cannot, will not cease ; the heavenly warmth 
Plays round my heart, and mantles o'er my cheek; 
Still, though unbidden, plays. — Fair Poesy! 
The summer and the spring, the wind and rain, 
Sunshine and storm, with various interchange, 
Have mark'd full many a day, and week, and month, 
Since by dark wood, or hamlet far retired, 
Spell-struck, with thee I loiter'd. — Sorceress ! 
I cannot burst thy bonds ! — It is but lift 
Thy blue eyes to that deep-bespangled vault, 
Wreathe thy enchanted tresses round thine arm, 
And mutter some obscure and charmed rhyme, 
And I could follow thee, on thy night's work, 
Up to the regions of thrice-chastened fire, 
Or in the caverns of the ocean flood, 
Thrid the light mazes of thy volant foot. 
Yet other duties call me, and mine ear 
Must turn away from the high minstrelsy 
Of thy soul-trancing, harp, unwillingly 
Must turn away; there are severer strains, 
(And surely they are sweet as ever smote 
2 c 3 


The ear of spirit, from this mortal coil 

Released and disembodied), there are strains, 

Forbid to all, save those whom solemn thought, 

Through the probation of revolving years, 

And mighty converse with the spirit of truth, 

Have purged and purified. — To these my soul 

Aspireth ; and to this sublimer end 

I gird myself, and climb the toilsome steep 

With patient expectation. — Yea, sometimes 

Foretaste of bliss rewards me ; and sometimes 

Spirits unseen upon my footsteps wait, 

And minister strange music, which doth seem 

Now near, now distant, now on high, now low, 

Then swelling from all sides, with bliss complete, 

And full fruition, filling all the soul. 

Surely such ministry, though rare, may soothe 

The steep ascent, and cheat the lassitude 

Of toil ; and but that my fond heart 

Reverts to day-dreams of the summer gone, 

When by clear fountain, or embowered brake, 

I lay a listless muser, prizing, far 

Above all other lore, the poet's theme ; 

But for such recollections I could brace 

My stubborn spirit for the arduous path 

Of science unregretting ; eye afar 

Philosophy upon her steepest height, 

And with bold step, and resolute attempt, 

Pursue her to the innermost recess, 

Where throned in light she sits, the Queen of Truth. 

These verses form nearly the only poetical effort 
of this year. Pardon their imperfections. 



MY DEAR BEN, St. John's, Oct. 18th, 1805. 

I am at length finally settled in my rooms, and, accord- 
ing to my promise, I write to you to tell you so. I did 
not feel quite comfortable at first here J but now I be- 
gin to feel at home, and relish my silent and thoughtful 
cup of tea more than ever. Amongst our various occu- 
pations, that of attending chapel is to me not the least 
irksome, for the service is read in general below the 
span of my auditory nerve ; but when they chant, I am 
quite charmed, for our organ is fine, and the voices are 
good. This is, however, only on high days and festi- 
vals, in which number, the present day is to be reck- 
oned (St. Luke's). 

My mathematical studies do not agree with me, and 
you may satisfy yourself I shall never be a senior 
wrangler. Many men come up with knowledge enough 
for the highest honours, and how can a man be ex- 
pected to keep up with them who starts without any 
previous fund? Our lectures begin on Monday, and 
then I shall know more of college difficulties. 

My rooms are in the top story of the farthest court of 
St. John's (which you perhaps remember) near the 
cloisters. They are light, and tolerably pleasant ; 
though, as there was no furniture in them, and I have 
not yet bought many necessary articles, they look very 
bare. Your phiz over the chimney-piece has been re- 
cognised by two of my fellow-students ; the one recol- 
lected its likeness to Mr. Maddock of Magdalene ; and 
the other said it was like a young man whom he had 
seen with Mr. Maddock, and whom he supposed to be 
his brother. 


Of my new acquaintances, I have become intimate 
with a Mr. * * *, who, 1 hope, will be senior wrangler. 
He is a very serious and friendly man, and a man of no 
common mathematical talents. He lives in the same 
court with me. Besides him, I know of none whose 
friendship I should value ; and, including him, no one 
whose hand I would take in preference to that of my 
old friend, so long as I see my old friend with his old 
face. When you have learned to be other than what 
you are, I shall not regret that B. M. is no longer my 
friend, but that my former friend is now no more. 
* * * * 

I walked through Magdalene the other day, and I 
could not help anticipating the time when I should 
come to drink your tea, and swallow your bread and 
butter, within the sacred walls. You must know our 
college was originally a convent for Black Friars ; and 
if a man of the reign of Henry the Sixth were to peep 
out of his grave, in the adjoining churchyard, and look 
into our portals, judging by our dress and appearance, 
he might deem us a convent of Black Friars still. 
Some of our brethren, it is true, would seem of very 
unsightly bulk ; but many of them, with eyes sunk into 
their heads, from poring over the mathematics, might 
pass very well for the fasting and mortified shadows of 
penitent monks. 

With regard to the expenses of our college, I can 
now speak decisively; and I can tell you, that I shall 
be here an independent man. I am a senior sizar, 
under very favourable circumstances, and, I believe, 
the profits of my situation will nearly equal the actual 
expenses of the college. But this is no rule for other 
colleges. I am on the best side (there are two divisions) 
of St. John's, and the expenses here are less than any 
where else in the university. 


I have this week written some very elaborate verses 
for a college prize, and I have at length learned that I 
am not qualified for a competitor, not being a Lady 
Margaret's scholar : so that I have lost my labour. — 
Compared with the other men of this large college, I 
find I am a respectable classic, and if I had time to give 
to the languages, I think I should ultimately succeed 
in them in no small degree ; but the fates forbid ; ma- 
thematics I must read, and in mathematics I know I 
never shall excel. These are harassing reflections for 
a poor young man gaping for a fellowship ! 

If I chose, I could find a good deal of religious so- 
ciety here, but I must not indulge myself with it too 
much. Mr. Simeon's preaching strikes me much. 

* * * * 

I beg you will answer a thousand such questions as 
these without my asking them; 

This is a letter of intelligence -.—next shall be senti- 
ment (or Gothic arch, for they are synonymous accord- 
ing to Mr. M.) 


DEAR MOTHER, St. John's, Oct. 26th, 1805. 

* * * * 

You seem to repose so little confidence in what I say 
with regard to my college expenses, that I am not en- 
couraged to hope you will give me much credit for what 
I am about to say, namely, that had I no money at all, 
either from my friends or Mr. Simeon, I could manage 
to live here. My situation is so very favourable, and 
the necessary expenses so very few, that I shall want 
very little more than will suffice for clothes and books. 
I have got the bills of Mr. * *, a sizar of this college, 
now before me, and from them, and his own account, 


I will give you a statement of what my college bills 

will amount to. 

* * * * 

Thus my college expenses will not be more than 12/. 
or 15/. a-year at the most. I shall not have any occa- 
sion for the whole sum I have a claim upon Mr. Simeon 
for ; and if things go well, I shall be able to live with- 
out being dependent on any one. The Mr. * *, whose 
bills I have borrowed, has been at college three years. 
He came over from * % with 10/. in his pocket, and 
has no friends, or any income or emolument whatever, 
except what he receives for his sizarship ; yet he does 
support himself and that, too, very genteelly. It is 
only men's extravagance that makes college life so ex- 
pensive. There are sizars at St. John's who spend 
150/. a-year: but they are gay, dissipated men, who 
choose to be sizars in order that they may have more 
money to lavish on their pleasures. Our dinners and 
suppers cost us nothing ; and if a man choose to eat 
milk-breakfasts, and go without tea, he may live abso- 
lutely for nothing; for his college emoluments will 
cover the rest of his expenses. Tea is indeed almost 
superfluous, since we do not rise from dinner till half- 
past three, and the supper bell rings a quarter before 
nine. Our mode of living is not to be complained of, 
for the table is covered with all possible variety ; and 
on feast days, which our fellows take care are pretty 
frequent, we have wine. 

You will now, I trust, feel satisfied on this subject, 
and will no longer give yourself unnecessary uneasiness 
on my account. 

* # * * 

I was unfortunate enough to be put into unfurnished 
rooms, so that my furniture will cost me a little more 
than I expected; I suppose about 15/. or perhaps not 


quite so much. I sleep on a hair-mattress, which I find 
just as comfortable as a bed ; it only cost me 4/. along 
with blankets, counterpane, and pillows, &c. I have 
three rooms — a sitting-room, a bed-room, and a kind 
of scullery or pantry. My sitting-room is very light 
and pleasant, and, what does not often happen, the 
walls are in good case, having been lately stained green. 

I must commission my sister to make me a pair of 
letter racks, but they must not be fine, because my fur- 
niture is not very fine. I think the old shape (or octa- 
gons, one upon another) is the neatest, and white the 
best colour. I wish Maria would paint vignettes in the 
squares, because then I should see how her drawing 
proceeds. You must know that these are not intended 
as mere matters of show, but are intended to answer 
some purpose ; there are so many particular places to 
attend on particular days, that unless a man is very 
cautious, he has nothing else to do than to pay forfeits 
for non-attendance. A few cards, and a little rack, 
will be a short way of helping the memory. 

I think I must get a supply of sugar from London ; 
for if I buy it here, it will cost me Is. 6d. per pound, 
which is rather too much. I have got tea enough to 

last the term out. 

# # * * 

Although you may be quite easy on the subject of 
my future support, yet you must not form splendid ideas 
of my success at the university, for the lecturers all 
speak so low, and we sit at such a distance, that I can- 
not hear a syllable ; I have, therefore, no more advan- 
tage than if I were studying at home. 

I beg we may have no more doubts and fears, at 
least on my score. I think I am now very near being 
off your hands ; and, since my education at the uni- 


versity is quite secure, you need not entertain gloomy- 
apprehensions for the future ; my maintenance will, at 
all events, be decent and respectable : and you must 
not grieve yourself because I cannot be as rich as an 


* * * * 

Do not shew this letter to all comers, nor leave it 
about, for people will have a very mean idea of uni- 
versity education, when they find it costs so little ; but 
if they are saucy on the subject, tell them — I have a 
lord just under me. 


DEAR SIR, St. John's, Oct. 26th, 1805. 

It is now many months since I wrote to you, and I 
have not received any answer. I should not have 
troubled you with this letter, but that, considering how 
much I owe to you, I thought the rules and obser- 
vances of strict etiquette might with moral propriety 
be dispensed with. 

Suffer me therefore to tell you, that I am quietly and 
comfortably settled at St. John's, silently conforming 
myself to the habits of college life, and pursuing my 
studies with such moderation as I think necessary for 
my health. I feel very much at home, and tolerably 
happy : although the peculiar advantages of university 
education will in a great measure be lost to me, since 
there is not one of the lecturers whom I am able to 

My literary ambition is, I think, now fast subsiding, 
and a better emulation springing up in its room. I 
conceive that, considering the disadvantages under 


which I labour, very little can be expected from me in 
the senate house. I shall not, however, remit my ex- 
ertions, but shall at least strive to acquit myself with 
credit, though I cannot hope for the more splendid 

With regard to my college expenses, I have the plea- 
sure to inform you, that my situation is so favourable, 
that I shall be obliged, in strict rectitude, to waive the 
offers of many of my friends. I shall not even need 
the sum Mr. Simeon mentioned after the first year; and 
it is not impossible that I may be able to live without 
any assistance at all. I confess I feel pleasure in the 
thought of this, not through any vain pride of inde- 
pendence, but because I shall then give a more un- 
biassed testimony to the Truth, than if I were supposed 
to be bound to it by any ties of obligation or gratitude. 
I shall always feel as much indebted for intended, as 
for actually afforded assistance ; and though I should 
never think a sense of thankfulness an oppressive bur- 
den, yet I shall be happy to evince it, when, in the eyes 
■of the world, the obligation to it has been discharged. 

I hope you will ere long relieve me from the painful 
thought that I lie under your displeasure; and believe 
me, Dear Sir, 

Most sincerely and affectionately yours, 



* * « * 

Cum diutius a te frustra litteras expectassem memet, 
in animum tuum revocare aut iterum otio obtrudere 

Penes te erat aut nobiscum denuo per litteras col- 
2 D 


loqui aut familiaritatem et necessitatem nostram silentio 
dimittere. Hoc te preetulisse jam diu putaveram, cum 
epistola tua mihi in manus venit. 

Has litteras scribebam intra sanctos Sanctissimi Jo- 
hannis Collegii muros, in celeberrima hac nostra aca- 
demia Cantabrigiee. 

Hie tranquillitate'denique litterarum propria, summa 
cum voluptate conjuncta fruor. Hie omnes discendi 
vias, omnes scientiae rationes indago et persequor: 
nescio quid tandem evasurus. Certe si parum proficio, 
mihi eulpse jure datum erit; modo valetudo me sinat. 

Haud tamen vereor, si verum dicere cogor, ut satis 
proficiam : quanquam infirmis auribus aliorum lecturas 
vix unquam audire queam. In mathematicis parum 
adhuc profeci: utpote qui perarduum certamen cum 
eruditissimis quibusque in veterum linguis et moribus 
versatis jamjam sim initurus. 

His in studiis pro mea perbrevi sane et tanquam hes- 
terna consuetudine haud mediocriter sum versatus. 

Latine minus eleganter scribere videor quam Greece : 
neque vero eadem voluptate scriptores Latinos lectito 
quam Grsecos : cum autem omnem industrise meee vim 
Romanis litteris contulerim, haud dubito quin faciles 
mihi et propitias eas faciam. 

Te etiam revocatum velim ad haec elegantia delicias- 
que litterarum. Quid enim accommodatius videri po- 
test aut ad animum quotidianis curis laboribusque op- 
pressum reficiendum et recreandum, aut ad mentem et 
facultates ingenii acuendas, quam exquisita et expolita 
summaque vi et acumine ingenii elaborata veterum 
scriptorum opera? 



MY DEAR JAMES, St. John's, Nov. 1805. 

You do not know how anxious I am to hear how you 
go on in all things ; and whether you still persist in 
steadfastness and seriousness. I know, my dear lad, 
that your heart is too good to run into actual vice, yet 
I fear the example of gay and wicked persons may 
lead you to think lightly of religion, and then who 
knows where it may end? Neville, however, will always 
be your director, and I trust you conceal none, even 
of your very thoughts, from him. Continue, James, 
to solicit the fatherly superintendance of your Maker, 
night and morning. I shall not fear for you, while I 
am assured you do this fervently, and not in a hurried 
or slovenly manner. With constant prayer, we have 
nothing to fear from the temptations of the world, the 
flesh, and the devil : God will bring us through it, and 
will save us in the midst of peril. If we consider the 
common condition of man's life, and the evils and mis- 
fortunes to which we are daily exposed, we have need 
to bless God every moment for sparing us, and to beg 
of him, that when the day of misfortune comes (and 
come it must, sooner or later, to all), we may be pre- 
pared with Christian fortitude to endure the shock. 
What a treasure does the religious man possess in this, 
that when every thing else fails, he has God for his re- 
fuge ; and can look to a world where he is sure, through 
Christ Jesus, that he will not be disappointed! 

I do not much heed to what place of worship you 
may go, so as you are but a serious and regular at- 
tendant. Permit me, however, to explain the true na- 
2 d 2 


ture of the question with regard to the church liturgy, 
in order that you may be the better able to judge. 

You know, from the epistles of St. Paul, that soon after 
the death of Jesus Christ, there were regular churches 
established in various places, as in Corinth, Galatia, 
Thessalonica, &c. &c. Now, we are not certain that 
they used forms of prayer at all in these churches, much 
more that any part of ours was used in their time ; but 
it is certain, that in the year of our Lord 286 there was 
a general liturgy in use throughout all the churches of 
Christ. Now, if in that early time, when Christians 
were much more like the apostles than they are now, 
they used a form of prayer in the churches, it is fair to 
conclude that the practice was not unscriptural ; be- 
sides, at this very time, St. John the Evangelist had 
not been dead above 100 years, and one of his disci- 
ples, though at a very great age, was actually living. 
St. Chrysostom, who lived above 354 years after Christ, 
wrote some of our prayers, and the greater part of them 
have been in general use for a thousand years. About 
the year 286, about one thousand five hundred years 
ago, immense multitudes of savages, the Goths and 
Vandals, being enticed by the fertility of the Italian 
country, and the riches of its possessors, came down 
from Germany, Hungary, and all the northern parts of 
Europe, upon the Roman empire, then enfeebled with 
luxury, and endeavoured to gain possession of the 
south. They were at first repulsed ; but as fast as 
they were defeated or slain, new hordes, allured by 
the accounts which their countrymen gave of its opu- 
lence and abundance, succeeded in their stead, till the 
forces of the Romans grew unequal to the contest, and 
gradually gave way to the invaders, who, wherever 
they came, reduced every thing to a state of barbarism. 


The Christians, about this time, were beginning to pre- 
vail in the Roman territories, and under the emperor 
Constantine, who was the first Christian king, were 
giving the blow to idolatry. But the savage intolerance 
of the invaders, who reduced the conquered to abject 
slavery, burned books wherever they found them, and 
even forbade the cultivation of learning, reduced them 
to the utmost distress. At this time they wrote, and 
used in their churches, all that part of the Litany which 
begins with the Lord's Prayer, and ends with the prayer 
of St. Chrysostom. Thus you see how venerably an- 
cient are many of our forms, and how little they merit 
that contempt which ignorant people pour upon them. 
Very holy men (men now, we have every reason to 
believe, in heaven) composed them, and they have been 
used from age to age ever since, in our churches, with 
but few alterations. But, you will say, they were 
used by the Roman Catholics, who are a very super- 
stitious and bigoted set of people. This is no objec- 
tion at all, because the Roman Catholics were not 
always so bad ; and what is a proof of this is, that there 
once was no other religion in the world ; and we can- 
not think that church very wicked, which God chose, 
once, to make the sole guardian of his truth. There 
have been many excellent and pious men among the 
Roman Catholics, even at the time their public faith 
was corrupted. 

You may have heard of the Reformation ; you know 
it was brought about by Luther and Calvin, in the six- 
teenth century, about 1536. Now, Calvin is the 
founder of the sect of Independents, such as those 
who meet at Castlegate ; yet he had a hand in framing 
the liturgy, which, with alterations, we now use, and 
he selected it in part from the liturgy of the Roman 
2 d 3 


church; because they had received it from the primi- 
tive Christians, who were more immediately taught by 
the apostles. The Reformation means that change in 
religion, which was brought about, as said before, by 
Luther and Calvin, in consequence of the abuses and 
errors which had crept into the Romish church. 

You may possibly think the responses, or answers of 
the clerk and people, rather ridiculous. — This absur- 
dity, however, generally consists more in the manner 
than in the thing. They were intended to be pro- 
nounced aloud by the people, and were used as a means 
to keep their attention awake, and shew their sincerity. 
At the time this form was invented, not one man in 
five or six hundred could read ; and these repetitions 
answered another purpose, of fixing important ejacu- 
lations and sentences in their minds. In these days 
the same necessity does not exist ; but we still retain 
the form on account of its other advantages, and 
through reverence of such an antiquity, r as almost 
vouches for its being acceptable to God, who has per- 
mitted it to be used by the wisest and best of men for 
so long a period. 

I think I have now nearly tired you. Pray write to 
me soon, and believe me, My dear James, 

Your very affectionate brother, 



St. John's College, Cambridge, Nov. 10, 1805. 

% * * * 

The reasons why I said mathematical studies did not 
agree with me, were these — that I am more inclined to 


classical pursuits, and that, considering what disad- 
vantages I lie under in being deaf, I am afraid I cannot 
excel in them. I have at present laid them aside, as I 
am reading for the university scholarship, which will soon 
be vacant : there are expected to be thirteen or fourteen 
candidates, some of whom are of great note from Eton; 
and I have as much expectation of gaining it, as of 
being elected supreme magus over the mysteries of 
Mithra. The scholarship is of no value in itself ade- 
quate to the labour of reading for it, but it is the 
greatest classical honour in the university, and is a 
pretty sure road to a fellowship. My classical abilities 
here have attracted some attention, and my Latin 
themes, in particular, have drawn forth inquiries from 
the tutors as to the place of my education. The rea- 
son why I have determined to sit for the scholarship is 
this, that to have simply been a candidate for it esta- 
blishes a man's character, as many of the first classics 
in the university have failed of it. 

* * * * 

I begin now to feel at home in my little room, and I 
wish you were here to see how snugly I sit by my blazing 
fire in the cold evenings. College certainly has charms, 
though I have a few things rankling at my heart which 
will not let me be quite happy. — Ora, Ora, pro me. 

This last sentence of mine is of a very curious ten- 
dency, to be sure: for who is there of mortals who has 
not something rankling at his heart, which will not let 
him be happy? 

It is curious to observe the different estimations two 
men make of one another's happiness. Each of them 
surveys the external appearance of the other's situation, 
and, comparing them with the secret disquieting cir- 
cumstances of his own, thinks him happier; and so it 


is that all the world over, be we favoured as we may, 
there is always something which others have, and 
which we ourselves have not, necessary to the comple- 
tion of our felicity. I think, therefore, upon the whole, 
there is no such thing as positive happiness in this 
world ; and a man can only be deemed felicitous, as 
he is in comparison less affected with positive evil. It 
is our business, therefore, to support ourselves under 
existing 1 - ills, with the anticipation of future blessings. 
Life, with all its bitters, is a draught soon drunk ; and 
though we have many changes to fear on this side the 
grave, beyond it we know of none. 

Your life and mine are now marked out ; and our 
calling is of such a nature, that it ill becomes us to be 
too much affected with circumstances of an external 
nature. It is our duty to bear our evils with dignified 
silence. Considering our superior consolations, they 
are small in comparison with those of others; and 
though they may cast a sadness both over our hearts 
and countenances, which time may not easily remove, 
yet they must not interfere with our active duties, nor 
affect our conduct towards others, except by opening 
our heart with warmer sympathy to their woes, their 
wants, and miseries. 

As you have begun in your religious path, my be- 
loved friend, persevere. Let your love to the Crucified 
continue as pure as it was at first, while your zeal is 
more tempered, and your piety more rational and ma- 
ture. I hope yet to live to see you a pious and respected 
parish priest ; as for me — I hope I shall do my duty as 
I have strength and ability, and I hope I shall always 
continue, what I now profess myself, 

Your friend and brother, 




DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, Cambridge, Dec. 10, 180^ 
I am ^o truly hurt that you should again complain of 
my long silence, that I cannot refrain from sending this 
by the post, although I shall send you a parcel to-mor- 
row. The reason of my not having sent you the cra- 
vats sooner, is the difficulty I have found in getting 
them together, since part were in the hands of my 
laundress, and part dirty. I do not know whether you 
will find them right, as my linen is in other respects 
deficient, and I have a cause at issue with my washer- 
woman on that score. This place is literally a den of 
thieves ; my bed-maker, whom we call a gyp, from a 
Greek word signifying a vulture, runs away with every 
thing he can lay his hands on, and when he is caught, 
says he only borrows them. He stole a sack of coals 
a-week as regularly as the week came, when first I had 
fires ; but I have stopped the run of this business, by 
a monstrous large padlock, which is hung to the staple 
of the bin. His next trick was to bring me four can- 
dles for a pound instead of six ; and this trade he car- 
ried on for some time, until I accidentally discovered 
the trick : he then said he had always brought me right 
until that time, and then he had brought me jives, but 
had given Mr. H. (a man on the same staircase) one, 
because he thought he understood I had borrowed one 
of him ; on inquiring of Mr. H. he had not given him 
one according to his pretence : but the gentleman was 
not caught yet, for he declared he had lent one to the 
bed-maker of Lord B. in the rooms below. His neat- 
est trick is going to the grocer every now and then for 
articles in your name, which he converts to his own use. 



I have stopped him here too, by keeping a check-book. 
Tea, sugar, and pocket-handkerchiefs, are his natural 
perquisites, and I verily believe he will soon be filling 
his canister out of mine before my face. There is no 
redress for all this ; for if you change, you are no bet- 
ter off: they are all alike. They know you regard them 
as a pack of thieves, and their only concern is to steal so 
dexterously that they may not be confronted with direct 


Do not be surprised at any apparent negligence in 
my letters : my time has so many calls for it, that half 
my duties are neglected. Our college examination 
comes on next Tuesday, and it is of the utmost mo- 
ment that I acquit myself well there. A month after 
will follow the scholarship examination. My time, 
therefore, at present, will scarcely permit the perform- 
ance of my promise with respect to the historical papers ; 
but I have them in mind, and I am much bent on per- 
fecting them in a manner superior to their commence- 

I would fain write to my brother James, who must 
by no means think I forget him ; but I fear I shall see 
him before I write to him on the accounts above stated. 
The examination for the scholarship is distinct from 
that of our college, which is a very important one ; and 
while I am preparing for the one, I necessarily neglect 
the other. 

I wish very much to hear from you on religious 
topics ; and remember, that although my leisure at pre- 
sent will not allow me to write to you all 1 wish, yet it 
will be the highest gratification to me to read your let- 
ters, especially when they relate to your Christian pro- 
gress. I beseech you not to relax, as you value your 


peace of mind, and the repose of a dying bed. I wish 
you would take in the Christian Observer, which is a 
cheap work, and will yield you much profitable amuse- 
ment. I have it here for nothing, and can send you 
up some of the numbers if you like. 

Remember, and let my mother know, that I have no 
chance for the university scholarship, and that I only 
sit for the purpose of letting the university know that I 
am a decent proficient in the languages. 

There is one just vacant which I can certainly get, 
but I should be obliged to go to Peter-house in conse- 
quence, which will not be advisable, — but I must make 
inquiries about it. I speak with certainty on this sub- 
ject, because it is restricted to candidates who are in 
their first year, amongst whom I should probably be 
equal to any. The others are open to bachelors. 

DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, Dec. 16th, 1805. 

In consequence of an alteration in my plans, »I shall 
have the pleasure of seeing you at the latter end of 
this week, and I wish you so to inform my aunt. The 
reason of this change is this, that I have over-read my- 
self, and I find it absolutely necessary to take some 
relaxation, and to give up study entirely, for a short 
time, in order that I may go on better hereafter. 

This has been occasioned by our college lectures, 
which I had driven too late, on account of my being 
occupied in preparations for the university scholarship 
examination, and then I was obliged to fag so hard for 
the college lectures, as the time drew on, that I could 
take no exercise. Thus I soon knocked myself up, 


and I now labour under a great general relaxation, and 
much nervous weakness. 

Change of air and place will speedily remove these 
symptoms, and I shall certainly give up the university 
scholarship, rather than injure my health. 

Do not mention these things to my mother, as she 
will make it a cause of unnecessary uneasiness. 

DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, Dec. 19th, 1805. 

I was sorry to receive your letter, desiring me to defer 
my journey ; and I am sorry to be forced to tell you the 
reason of my coming to town sooner than you wish me. 
I have had an attack of my old nervous complaint, and 
my spirits have been so wretchedly shattered, that my 
surgeon says I shall never be well till I have removed 
somewhere, where I can have society and amusement. 
It is a very distressing thing to be ill in college, where 
you have no attendance, and very little society. Mr. 
Catton, my tutor, has prevailed upon me, by pressing 
wishes, to go into the hall to be examined with the men 
of my year: — I have gone through two examinations, 
and I have one to come ; after that is over, he told me 
I had better go to my friends directly, aud relieve my- 
self with complete relaxation from study. Under these 
circumstances, the object of my journey to London will 
be answered, by the mere residence in my aunt's family, 
and by a cessation from reading. While I am here, I 
am wretched ; I cannot read — the slightest application 
makes me faint ; I have very little society, and that is 
quite a force upon my friends. I am determined, there- 
fore, to leave this place on Saturday morning, and you 


may rest satisfied that the purpose of my journey will 
be fully accomplished by the prattle of my aunt's little 
ones, and her care. I am not an invalid, since I have 
no sickness or ailment, but I am weak and low-spirited, 
and unable to read. The last is the greatest calamity 
I can experience of a worldly nature. My mind preys 
upon itself. Had it not been for Leeson, of Clare Hall, 
I could not have gone through this week. I have been 
examined twice, and almost without looking over the 
subjects, and I have given satisfaction; but I am obliged 
to be kept up by strong medicines to endure this exer- 
tion, which is very great. 

I am happy, however, to tell you, I am better; and 
Mr. Farish, the surgeon, says, a few days will re-esta- 
blish me when I get into another scene, and into society. 


MY DEAR MOTHER, London, Dec. 24th, 1805. 

You will, no doubt, have been surprised at not having 
heard from me for so long a time, and you will be no 
less so to find that I am writing this at my aunt's in 
this far-famed city. I have been so much taken up 
with our college examinations of late, that I could not 
find time to write even to you, and I am now come to 
town, in order to give myself every relaxation and 
amusement I can ; for I had read so much at Cam- 
bridge, that my health was rather affected, and I was 
advised to give myself the respite of a week or a fort- 
night, in order to recover strength. I arrived in town 
on Saturday night, and should have written yesterday, 
in order to remove any uneasiness you might feel on 
my account, but there is no post on Sunday. 
2 E 


I have now to communicate some agreeable intelii* 
gence to you. Last week being the close of the Mi- 
chaelmas term, and our college examination, our tutor, 
who is a very great man, sent for me, and told me he 
was sorry to hear I had been ill : he understood I was 
low-spirited, and wished to know whether I frightened 
myself about college expenses. I told him, that they 
did contribute some little to harass me, because I was 
as yet uncertain what the bills of my first year would 
amount to. His answer was to this purpose : — * Mr. 
•White, I beg you will not trouble yourself on this sub- 
ject : your emoluments will be very great, very great 
indeed, and I will take care your expenses are not very 
burdensome. — Leave that to me !' He advised me to 
go to my friends, and amuse myself with a total ces- 
sation from reading. After our college examination 
(which lasted six days) was over, he sent for me again, 
and repeated what he had said before about the ex- 
penses of the college ; and he added, that if I went on 
as I had begun, and made myself a good scholar, I 
might rely on being provided for by the college ; for if 
the county should be full, and they could not elect me a 
fellow, they would recommend me to another college, 
where they would be glad to receive a clever man from 
their hands; or, at all events, they could always get a 
young man a situation as private tutor in a nobleman's 
family: or could put him in some handsome way of 
preferment. * We make it a rule (he said) of providing 
for a clever man, whose fortune is small ; and you may 
therefore rest assured, Mr. White, that, after you have 
taken your degree, you will be provided with a genteel 
competency by the college.' He begged I would be 
under no apprehensions on these accounts : he shook 
hands with me very affectionately, arid wished me a 


speedy recovery. These attentions from a man like 
the tutor of St. John's are very marked ; and Mr. Cat- 
ton is well known for doing more than he says. I am 
sure, after these assurances from a principal of so re- 
spectable a society as St. John's, I have nothing more to 
fear; and I hope you will never repine on my account 
again: — according to every appearance, my lot in life 
is certain, 



MY DEAR BEN, London, Xmas, 1805. 

You would have had no reason to complain of my long 
silence, had I preferred my self- justification to your 
ease. I wrote you a letter, which now lies in my drawer 
at St. John's, but in such a weak state of body, and in 
so desponding and comfortless a tone of mind, that I 
knew it would give you pain, and therefore I chose not 
to send it. I have indeed been ill ; but, thanks to God, 
I am recovered. My nerves were miserably shattered 
by over-application, and the absence of all that could 
amuse, and the presence of many things which weighed 
heavy upon my spirits. When I found myself too ill 
to read, and too desponding to endure my own reflec- 
tions, I discovered that it is really a miserable thing to 
be destitute of the soothing and supporting hand when 
nature most needs it. I wandered up and down from 
one man's room to another, and from one college to 
another, imploring society, a little conversation, and a 
little relief of the burden which pressed upon my spirits ; 
and I am sorry to say, that those who, when I was 
cheerful and lively, sought my society with avidity, 
now, when I actually needed conversation, were too 
2 e 2 



busy to grant it. Our college examination was then 
approaching, and I perceived with anguish that I had 
read for the university scholarship, until I had barely 
time to get up our private subjects, and that as I was 
now too ill to read, all hope of getting through the ex- 
amination with decent respectability was at an end. 
This was an additional grief. I went to our tutor, with 
tears in my eyes, and told him I must absent myself 
from the examination, — a step which would have pre- 
cluded me from a station amongst the prize-men until 
the second year. He earnestly entreated me to run the 
risk. My surgeon gave me strong stimulants and sup- 
porting medicines during the examination week, and I 
passed, I believe, one of the most respectable examina- 
tions amongst them. As soon as ever it was over, I 
left Cambridge, by the advice of my surgeon and tutor, 
and I feel myself now pretty strong. I have given up the 
thought of sitting for the university scholarship in con- 
sequence of my illness, as the course of my reading 
was effectually broken. In this place I have been much 
amused, and have been received with an attention in 
the literary circles which I neither expected nor de- 
served. But this does not affect me as it once would 
have done: my views are widely altered ; and I hope 
that I shall in time learn to lay my whole heart at the 
foot of the cross. 

I have only one thing more to tell you of about my 
illness ; it is, that I have found in a young man, with 
whom I had a little acquaintance, that kind care and 
attention, which I looked for in vain from those who 
professed themselves my nearest friends, At a time 
when * * * could not find leisure to devote a single 
evening to his sick friend, even when he earnestly im- 
plored it, William Leeson constantly, and even against 


ray wishes, devoted every evening to the relieving of 
my melancholy, and the enlivening of my solitary hours* 
With the most constant and affectionate assiduity, he 
gave me my medicines, administered consolation to my 
spirits, and even put me to bed. 


SIR, London, 1st January, 1806. 

I owe it both to my feelings and my duty, that I should 
thank you for the kind inquiries you have thought it 
worth while to make concerning me and my affairs. I 
have just learned the purport of a letter received from 
you by Mr. Robinson, the bookseller ; and it is a pleas- 
ing task to me, at the same time that I express my sense 
of your benevolent concern in my behalf, to give you, 
myself, the information you require. 

The little volume which, considered as the production 
of a very young man, may have interested you, has not 
had a very great sale, although it may have had as much 
countenance as it deserved. The last report I received 
from the publishers, was 450 sold. So far it has an- 
swered the expectations I had formed from it, that it 
has procured me the acquaintance, and, perhaps, I 
may say> the friendship of men equally estimable for 
their talents and their virtues. Rewarded by their 
countenance, I am by no means dissatisfied with my 
little book ; indeed, I think its merits have, on the whole, 
rather been over-rated than otherwise, which I attribute 
to the lenity so readily afforded to the faults of youth, 
and to the promptitude with which benevolent minds 
give encouragement where encouragement seems to be 

2 e 3 


With regard to my personal concerns, I have sue-* 
ceeded in placing myself at Cambridge, and have al- 
ready kept one term. My college is St. John's, 
where, in the rank of sizar, I shall probably be enabled 
to live almost independently of external support : but, 
should I need that support, I have it in my power to 
draw on a friend, whose name I am not permitted to 
mention, for any sum not exceeding 30/. per annum. 
With habits of frugality, I shall never need this sum : 
so that I am quite at ease with respect to my college 
expenses, and am at full leisure to pursue my studies 
with a free and vacant mind. 

I am at present in the great city, where I have come, 
in consequence of a little injudicious application, a 
suitor to health, variety, and amusement. In a few days 
I shall return to Cambridge, where (should you ever 
pass that way) I hope you will not forget that I reside 
there three-fourths of the year. It would, indeed, give 
me pleasure to say personally how much I am obliged 
by your inquiries. 

I hope you will put a favourable construction both 
on the minuteness and the length of this letter, and 
permit me to subscribe myself, Sir, 

Very thankfully and obediently, yours, 

MY DEAR AUNT, St. John's, Cambridge, Jan. 6th, 1806. 
I am at length once more settled in my rooms at Cam- 
bridge; but I am grown so idle, and so luxurious, since 
I have been under your hands, that I cannot read with 
half my usual diligence, 

I hope you concluded the Christmas holidays on 


Monday evening with the customary glee ; and I hope 
my uncle was well enough to partake of your merri- 
ment. You must now begin your penitential days, 
after so much riot and feasting ; and, with your three 
little prattlers around you, I am sure your evenings will 
flow pleasantly by your own fire-side. Visiting and 
gaiety are very well by way of change ; but there is no 
enjoyment so lasting as that of one's own family. Eli- 
zabeth will soon be old enough to amuse you with her 
conversation ; and, I trust, you will take every oppor- 
tunity of teaching her to put the right value on things, 
and to exercise her own good sense. It is amazing how 
soon a child may become a real comfort to its mother, 
and how much even young minds will form habits of 
affection towards those who treat them like reasonable 
beings, capable of seeing the right and the wrong of 
themselves. A very little girl may be made to under- 
stand that there are some things which are pleasant and 
amusing, which are still less worthy of attention than 
others more disagreeable and painful. Children are, in 
general, fond of little ornaments of dress, especially 
females ; and though we may allow them to be ele- 
vated with their trifling splendors, yet we should not 
forget to remind them, that, although people may ad- 
mire their dress, yet they will admire them much more 
for their good sense, sweetness of temper, and gene- 
rosity of disposition. Children are very quick-sighted 
to discern whether you approve of them, and they are 
very proud of your approbation when they think you 
bestow it ; we should therefore be careful how we praise 
them, and for what. If we praise their dress, it should 
be slightly, and as if it were a matter of very small im- 
portance ; but we should never let any mark of con- 
sideration, or goodness of heart, in a child, pass by, 


without some token of approbation. Still we must 
never praise a child too much, nor too warmly, for that 
would beget vanity; and when praise is moderately yet 
judiciously bestowed, a child values it more, because it 
feels that it is just. I don't like punishments. You 
will never torture a child into duty; but a sensible 
child will dread the frown of a judicious mother, more 
than all the rods, dark-rooms, and scolding school- 
mistresses in the universe. We should teach our chil- 
dren to make friends of us, to communicate all their 
thoughts to us ; and while their innocent prattle will 
amuse us, we shall find many opportunities of teaching 
them important truths, almost without knowing it. 

I admire all your little ones, and I hope to see Eli- 
zabeth one day an accomplished and sensible girl. 
Give my love to them, and tell them not to forget their 
cousin Henry, who wants a housekeeper at college ! 

Though I have written so long a letter, I am, indeed, 
offended with you, and I dare say you know the rea- 
son very well. 

* * # * 

P. S. Whenever you are disposed to write a letter, 
think of me. 


DEAR BEN, St. John's, February 17th, 1806. 

* * * * 

Do not think I am reading hard : I believe it is all over 
with that. I have had a recurrence of my old com- 
plaint within this last four or five days, which has half 
unnerved me for every thing. The state of my health 
is really miserable; I am well and lively in the morning, 
and overwhelmed with nervous horrors in the evening. 
I do not know how to proceed with regard to my stu- 


dies :— a very slight overstretch of the mind in the day- 
time occasions me not only a sleepless night, but a night 
of gloom and horror. The systole and diastole of my 
heart seem to be playing at ball— the stake, my life. 
I can only say the game is not yet decided : — I allude 
to the violence of the palpitation. 

I am going to mount the Gog-magog hills this morn- 
ing, in quest of a good night's sleep. The Gog-magog 
hills for my body, and the Bible for my mind, are my 
only medicines. I am sorry to say, that neither are quite 
adequate. Cui,igitur; dandum est vitio? Mihi prorsus. 
I hope, as the summer comes, my spirits (which have 
been with the swallows a winter's journey) will come 
with it. When my spirits are restored, my health will 
be restored : the fons mali lies there.. Give me serenity 
and equability of mind, and all will be well there. 


DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, 11th March, 1806. 

# * * . -* 

I hope you read Mason on Self-knowledge now and 
then. It is a useful book; and it will help you greatly 
in framing your spirit to the ways of humility, piety, 
and peace. Reading, occasional meditation, and con- 
stant prayer, will infallibly guide you to happiness, as 
far as we can be happy here ; and will help you on your 
way to that blessed abode, where, I hope, ardently hope, 
we shall all meet hereafter in the assembly of the saints. 
Go coolly and deliberately, but determinately, to the 
work of your salvation. Do nothing here in a hurry ; 
deliberate upon every thing ; take your steps cautiously, 
yet with a simple reliance on the mercy of your God and 


Saviour; and wherever you see your duty lie, lose no 
time in acting up to it. This is the only way to arrive 
at comfort in your Christian career; and the constant 
observance of this maxim will, with the assistance of 
God, smooth your way with quietness and repose, even 
to the brink of eternity, and beyond the gulf that 
bounds it. 

I had almost dropped the idea of seeing Nottingham 
this next long vacation, as my stay in Cambridge may 
be importantly useful; but I think now, I shall go 
down for my health's, and more particularly for my 
mother's sake, whom my presence will comfort, and 
perhaps help. I shall be glad to moor all my family 
in the harbour of religious trust, and in the calm seas 
of religious peace. These concerns are apt, at times, 
to escape me ; but they now press much upon my heart; 
and I think it is my first duty to see that my family are 
safe in the most important of all affairs. 

DEAR SIR, St. John's, March 12th, 1806. 

I hope you will excuse the long delay which I have 
made in sending the song. I am afraid I have tres- 
passed on your patience, if indeed so unimportant a 
subject can have given you any thought at all. If you 
think it worth while to send the song to your publisher, 
I should prefer the omission of the writer's name, as 
the insertion of it would only be a piece of idle osten- 
tation, and answer no end. My name will neither give 
credit to the verses, nor the verses confer honour on 
my name. 

It will give me great pleasure to hear that your la- 


bours have been successful in the town of * * % 
where, I fear, much is to be done. I am one of those 
who think that the love of virtue is not sufficient to 
make a virtuous man ; for the love of virtue is a mere 
mental preference of the beautiful to the deformed; 
and we see but too often that immediate gratification 
outweighs the dictates of our judgment. If men could 
always perform their duty as well as they can discern 
it, or if they would attend to their real interests as well 
as they can see them, there would be little occasion 
for moral instruction. Sir Richard Steele, who wrote 
like a saint, and who, in his Christian Hero, shews the 
strongest marks of a religious and devout heart, lived, 
notwithstanding all this, a drunkard and a debauchee. 
And what can be the cause of this apparent contradic- 
tion ? Was it that he had not strength of mind to act 
tip to his views ? Then a man's salvation may depend 
on strength of intellect ! Or does not this rather shew 
that superior motives are wanting ? that assistance is 
yet necessary, when the ablest of men has done his 
utmost? If, then, such aid be necessary, how can it be 
obtained? — by a virtuous life? — Surely not: because 
to live really a virtuous life, implies this aid to have been 
first given. We are told in Scripture how it may be 
attained, namely, by humble trust in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, as our atoning sacrifice. This, therefore, is the 
foundation of religious life, and as such, ought to be the 
fundamental principle of religious instruction. This is 
the test of our obedience, the indispensable preliminary 
before we can enjoy the favour of God. What, there- 
fore, can we urge with more propriety from the pulpit 
than faith? — to preach morality does not include the 
principle of faith — to preach faith includes every branch 


of morality, at the same time that it affords it its present 
sanctions and its strongest incitements. 

I am afraid I have trespassed on your patience, and 
I must beg of you to excuse the badness of the writing, 
for which I have the plea of illness. I hope your health 
is yet firm, and that God will in mercy prosper your 
endeavours for the good of your flock. I am, dear Sir, 
Very respectfully yours, 


DEAR MOTHER, St. John's, Cambridge, April, 1806. 

# * * * 

I am quite unhappy to see you so anxious on my ac- 
count, and also that you should think me neglectful of 
you. Believe me, my dear mother, my thoughts are 
often with you. Never do I lay myself on my bed, be- 
fore you have ail passed before me in my prayers; and 
one of my first earthly wishes is to make you comfortable, 
and provide that rest and quiet for your mind which 
you so much need : and never fear but I shall have it 
in my power some time or other. My prospects wear 
a flattering appearance. I shall be almost sure of a 
fellowship somewhere or other, and then, if I get a cu- 
racy in Cambridge, I shall have a clear income of 170/. 
per annum, besides my board and lodging, perhaps more. 
If I do not reside in Cambridge, I shall have some quiet 
parsonage, where you may come and spend the sum- 
mer months. Maria and Kate will then be older, and 
you will be less missed. On all accounts you have 
much reason to indulge happier dreams. My health 
is considerably better. Only do you take as much care 


of yours as I do of mine, and all will be well. I exhort, 
and entreat, and beseech you, as you love me, and all 
your children, that you will take your bitters, without 
ceasing. As you wish me to pay regard to your exhor- 
tations, attend to this. 


DEAR MOTHER, St. John's, April, 1806. 

I am a good deal surprised at not having heard from 
you in answer to my last. You will be surprised to 
hear the purport of my present letter, which is no less 
than that I shall spend the ensuing Easter vacation in 
Nottingham. The reasons which have induced me to 
make this so wide an alteration in my plan, are these : 
I have had some symptoms of the return of my old com- 
plaint, and both my doctor and tutor think I had better 
take a fortnight's relaxation at home. I hope you will 
not think I have neglected exercise, since I have taken 
more this term than ever I did before ; but I shall en- 
large my hours of recreation still more, since I find it 
necessary, for my health's sake, so to do. 

You need not give yourself any uneasiness as to my 
health, for I am quite recovered. I was chiefly afflicted 
with sleeplessness and palpitations of the heart, which 
symptoms have now disappeared, and I am quite re- 
stored to my former good health. My journey will re- 
establish me completely, and it will give me no small 
pleasure to see you after so long an absence from home. 
I shall be very idle while I am at Nottingham ; I shall 
only amuse myself with teaching Maria and Kate. 

2 f 


(supposed to be addressed) 


I have stolen your first volume of Letters from the 
chimney-piece of a college friend, and I have been so 
much pleased both with the spirit, conduct, and style 
of the work, that I cannot refrain from writing to tell 
you so. I shall read the remaining volumes immedi- 
ately; but as I am at this moment just in that desultory 
mood when a man can best write a letter, I have de- 
termined not to delay what, if I defer at all, I shall pro- 
bably not do at all. 

Well then, my dear Madam, although I have insi- 
diously given you to understand, that I write to tell you 
how much I approve your work, I will be frank enough 
to tell you likewise, that I think, in one point, it is faulty: 
and that, if I had not discovered what I consider to be 
a defect in the book, I should probably not have writ- 
ten for the mere purpose of declaiming on its excel- 

Start not, Madam ; it is in that very point whereon 
you have bestowed most pains, that I think the work is 
faulty — Religion. If I mistake not, there will be some 
little confusion of idea detected, if we examine this part 
narrowly ; and as I am not quite idle enough to write 
my opinions without giving the reasons for them, I will 
endeavour to explain why I think so. 

Religion, then, Madam, I conceive to be the service 
a creature owes to his Creator ; and I take it for granted, 
tlxat service implies some self-denial, and some labour; 
for if it did not involve something unpleasing to our- 
selves, it would be a duty we should all of necessity per- 
form. Well, then, if religion call for self-denial, there 


must be some motive to induce men voluntarily to un- 
dergo such privations as may be consequent on a re- 
ligious life, and those motives must be such as affect 
either the present state of existence, or some future 
state of existence. Certainly, then, those motives 
which arise from the expectation of a future state of 
existence, must, in reality, be infinitely more important 
than those which are founded in temporal concerns, 
although, to mankind, the immediate presence of tem- 
poral things may outweigh the distant apprehension of 
the future. Granting, therefore, that the future world i& 
the main object of our religious exercises, it will follow 
that they are the most important concerns of a man's life, 
and that every other consideration is light and trifling 
in the comparison. For the world to come is everlast- 
ing, while the present world is but very short. Foolish, 
then, indeed, and short-sighted must that creature be, 
which can prefer the conveniences and accommodations 
of the present to the happiness of the eternal future. 

All Christians, therefore, who undertake to lay down a 
chart for the young and inexperienced, by which they 
may steer with security through the ocean of life, will 
be expected to make religion a prominent feature on the 
canvass ; and that, too, not only by giving it a larger 
space, but by enforcing the superiority of this consider- 
ation to every other. Now this is what I humbly con- 
ceive you have not altogether done : and I think, in-r 
deed, if I be competent to judge, you have failed in two 
points ; — in making religion only a subordinate consi-r 
deration to a young man, and in not defining distinctly 
the essentials of religion. 

I would ask you, then, in what way you so impress 
religion on the mind of your son, as one would expect 
that person would impress it who was conscious that it 


was of the first importance ? Do you instruct him to 
turn occasionally, when his leisure may permit, to pious 
and devout meditation ? Do you direct him to make re- 
ligion the one great end and aim of his being ? Do you 
exhort him to frequent, private, and earnest prayer to 
the Spirit of Holiness that he would sanctify all his do- 
ings ? Do you teach him that the praise or the censure, 
the admiration or the contempt of the world, is of little 
importance, so as his heart be right before the Great 
Judge? Do you tell him that, as his reason now opens, 
he should gradually withdraw from the gayer and oc- 
casionally more unlicensed diversions of the world — the 
ball-room, the theatre, and the public concert, in order 
that he may abstract his mind more from the too- 
fascinating delights of life, and fit himself for the new 
scene of existence, which will, sooner or later, open 
upon his view? No, Madam, I think you do not do this. 
You tell him there is a deal of enthusiasm in persons 
who, though they mean well, are over-strict in their re- 
ligious performances. You tell him, that assemblies, 
dances, theatres, are elegant amusements, though you 
couple the fine arts with them, which I am sorry to see 
in such company. I, too, am enthusiastically attached 
to the fine arts. Poetry, painting, and music, are amongst 
my most delicious and chastest pleasures ; and happy 
indeed do I feel when I can make even these contribute 
to the great end, and draw my soul from its sphere, 
to fix it on its Maker and Redeemer. I am fond, too, of 
tragedy ; and though I do not find it with so much 
purity and chastity in Shakspeare as in the old Greek 
dramatists, yet I know how to appreciate its beauties 
in him too. Besides these, I have a thousand other 
amusements of the most refined nature, without either 
theatres, balls, or card-tables. The theatre is not in 


itself an immoral institution, but in its present state it 
is : and I feel much for an uncorrupted, frank lad of 
fourteen, who is permitted to visit this stew of licen- 
tiousness, impudence, and vice. Your plan seems to 
me this : — Teach a boy to lead an honest, upright life, 
and to do his duty, and he will gain the good-will of 
God by the very tenor of his actions. This is, indeed, 
an easy kind of religion, for it involves no self-denial; 
but true religion does involve self-denial. The infer- 
ence is obvious. I say it involves no self-denial ; be- 
cause a well-educated, sensible lad will see so many 
inconveniences in vicious indulgences, that he will choose 
the virtuous by a natural effort of the understanding ; 
and so, according to this system, he will ensure heaven 
by the soundness of his policy and the rectitude of his 

Admitting this to be a true doctrine, Christianity has 
been of no material service to mankind ; and the Son 
of God might have spared his blood ; for the heathens 
knew all this, and not only knew it, but many of them 
put it into practice. What, then, has Christianity done ? 
— But the Scripture teaches us the reverse of this : it 
teaches us to give God our whole heart, to live to him, 
to pray continually, and to fix our affections, not on 
things temporal, but on things eternal. Now, I ask you, 
whether, without any sophistry, or any perversion of 
the meaning of words, you can reconcile this with your 
religious instruction to your son? 

I think, likewise, that you do not define the essentials 
of religion distinctly. "We are either saved by the atone- 
ment of Jesus Christ, or we are not ; and if we are, then 
all men are necessarily saved, or some are necessarily 
not saved, and if some are not saved, it must be from 
causes either existing in the individuals themselves, or 
2 f 3 


from causes existing in the economy of God's dispen* 
sations. Now, Madam, we are told that Jesus Christ 
died for all; but we grant that all are not saved. Why, 
then, are some not saved? It is because they do not act 
in a manner worthy of God's favour ! Then a man's sal- 
vation depends upon his actions ? But we are told in 
Scripture, that it does not depend on his actions — 'By 
faith are ye saved, without the works of the law; — there- 
fore it either must depend on some other effort of the crea- 
ture, or on the will of the Creator. I will not dispute the 
question of Calvinism with you ; I will grant that Calvin- 
ism is indefensible : but this all must concede who be- 
lieve the Scriptures — that we are to be saved by faith only 
through Jesus Christ. I ask, therefore, whether you have 
taught this to your son ? and I ask whether there is one 
trait in your instructions, in common with the humbling, 
self-denying religion taught by the Apostles, by the ho- 
milies of our church, and by all the reformers? The chief 
argument of the latter against the Romish church, was 
their asserting the validity of works. Now, what ideas 
must your sori have of Christian faith? You say, that 
even Shakspeares debauchees were believers | and he is 
given to understand, that he is a good Christian, if he 
do his duty to his master and fellows, go to church 
every Sunday, and keep clear of enthusiasm. And what 
has Jesus Christ to do with your system; and where is 
that faith banished, of which every page of Scripture is 
full? — Can this be right? ' Closet devotion' is the means 
of attaining faith; and humble prayer is the true means 
of arriving at fervency in religion, without enthusiasm. 
— You condemn Socinianism; but I ask you where 
Jesus Christ appears in your scheme ? and whether the 
influences of the Holy Ghost, and even his names, are 
not banished from it? 



33EAR SIR, Nottingham, April 8th, 1806. 

I sincerely beg your pardon for my ungrateful dis- 
regard of your polite letter. The intervening period 
has been so much taken up, on the one hand, by ill 
health, and on the other by occupations of the most in- 
dispensable kind, that I have neglected almost all my 
friends, and you amongst the rest. I am now at Not- 
tingham, a truant from study, and a rejected votary at 
the shrine of Health; a few days will bring me back to 
the margin of the Cam, and bury me once more in the 
busy routine of college exercises. Before,^however, I 
am again a man of bustle and occupation, I snatch a 
few moments to tell you how much I shall be gratified 
by your correspondence, and how greatly I think my- 
self flattered by your esteeming mine worth asking for. 
The little sketch of your past occupations and present 
pursuits interested me. Cultivate, with all assiduity, 
the taste for letters which you possess. It will be a 
source of exquisite gratification to you : and if directed 
as it ought to be, and I hope as it will be directed, it 
will be more than gratification (if we understand plea- 
sure alone by that word), since it will combine with it 
utility of the highest kind. If polite letters were merely 
instrumental in cheering the hours of elegant leisure, 
in affording refined and polished pleasures, uncontami- 
nated with gross and sensual gratifications, they would 
still be valuable ; but in a degree infinitely less than 
when they are considered as the handmaids of the vir- 
tues, the correctors as well as the adorners of society. 
But literature has, of late years, been prostituted to all 
the purposes of the bagnio. Poetry, in particular, 


arrayed in her most bewitching colours, has been 
taught to exercise the arts of the Leno, and to charm 
only that she may destroy. The Muse, who once 
dipped her hardy wing in the chastest dews of Castalia, 
and spoke nothing but what had a tendency to confirm 
and invigorate the manly ardour of a virtuous mind, 
now breathes only the voluptuous languishings of the 
harlot, and, like the brood of Circe, touches her charmed 
chords with a grace, that while it ravishes the ear, de- 
ludes and beguiles the sense. I call to witness Mr. 
Moore, and the tribe of imitators which his success has 
called forth, that my statement is true. Lord Strang- 
ford has trodden faithfully in the steps of his pattern. 
* * * * 
I hope, for the credit of poetry, that the good sense 
of the age will scout this insidious school ; and what 
may we not expect, if Moore and Lord Strangford ap- 
ply themselves to a chaster muse ? — they are both men 
of uncommon powers. You may remember the reign 
of Darwinian poetry, and the fopperies of Delia Crusca. 
To these succeeded the school of Simplicity, in which 
Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge are so deservedly 
eminent. I think that the new tribe of poets endeavour 
to combine these two opposite sects, and to unite rich- 
ness of language, and warmth of colouring, with sim- 
plicity and pathos. They have certainly succeeded; 
but Moore unhappily wished to be a Catullus, and 
from him has sprung the licentiousness of the new 
school. Moore's poems and his translations will, I 
think, have more influence on the female society of 
this kingdom, than the stage has had in its worst period 
— the reign of Charles II. Ladies are not ashamed of 
having the delectable Mr. Little on their toilet, which 
is a pretty good proof that his voluptuousness is con- 


sidered as quite veiled by the sentimental garb in which 
it is clad. But voluptuousness is not the less dangerous 
for having some slight resemblance of the veil of mo- 
desty. On the contrary, her fascinations are infinitely 
more powerful in this retiring habit, than when she boldly 
protrudes herself on the gazer's eye, and openly solicits 
his attention. The broad indecency of Wycherly, and 
his contemporaries, was not half so dangerous as this 
insinuating and half-covered W20c&-delicacy, which makes 
use of the blush of modesty in order to heighten the 
charms of vice. 

I must conclude somewhat abruptly, by begging you 
will not punish my negligence towards you by retard- 
ing the pleasure I shall receive from your answer. 
I am, very truly yours, 


Address to me, St. John's College, Cambridge. 


MY DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, May, 1806. 

* * * * 

My long-delayed and very anciently -promised letter to 
Charlesworth will reach him shortly. Tell him that I 
have written once to him in Latin ; but that having 
torn the paper in two by a mistake, I could not summon 
resolution to copy it. 

I was glad to hear of the eclat with which he dis- 
puted and came off on so difficult a subject as the 
Nerves ; and I beg him, if he have made any discove- 
ries, to communicate them to me, who, being persecuted 
by these same nerves, should be glad to have some 
better acquaintance with my Invisible enemies. 



MY DEAR SISTER, St. John's, June 25th, 1800. 

* * * # 

The intelligence yon gave me of Mr. Forest's illness, 
&c. &c. cannot affect me in any way whatever. The 
mastership of the school must be held by a clergyman; 
and I very well recollect that he is restrained from 
holding any curacy, or other ministerial office. The 
salary is not so large as you mention : and if it were, 
the place would scarcely be an object to me : for I am 
very certain, that if I choose, when I have taken my 
degree, I may have half-a-dozen pupils to prepare for 
the university, with a salary of 100/. per annum, which 
would be more respectable, and more consonant to my 
habits and studies, than drilling the fry of a trading 
town in learning which they do not know how to value. 
Latin and Greek are nothing-like so much respected in 
Nottingham as Wingate's Arithmetic. 
* * * * 

It is well for you that you can still enjoy the privi- 
lege of sitting under the sound of the Gospel ; and the 
wants of others, in these respects, will, perhaps, teach 
you how to value the blessing. All our comforts, and 
almost all our hopes here, lie at the mercy of every 
succeeding hour. — Death is always at hand to bereave 
us of some dear connexion, or to snatch us away from 
those who may need our counsel and protection. I do 
not see how any person, capable of reflection, can live 
easily and fearlessly in these circumstances, unless 
he have a well-grounded confidence in the providing 
care of the Almighty, and a strong belief that his hand 
is in every event, and that it is a hand of mercy. The 
chances and changes of mortal life are so many and 


various, that a person cannot possibly fortify himself 
against the contingencies of futurity without some such 
hold as this, on which to repose amidst the contending 
gales of doubt and apprehension. This I say, as af- 
fecting the present life: our views of the future can 
never be secure, they can never be comfortable or calm, 
without a solid faith in the Redeemer. Men may rea- 
son about the divine benevolence, the certainty of a 
future state, and the probable means of propitiating 
the Great Judge, but their speculations will only en- 
tangle them in the mazes of doubt, perplexity, and 
alarm, unless they found their hopss on that basis which 
shall outstand the tide of ages. If we take this away, 
the poor bark of mortality loses its only stay, and we 
steer at random, we know not how, we know not whi- 
ther : the religion of Jesus Christ is strength to the 
weak, and wisdom ta the unwise. It requires no pre- 
parative of learning nor study, but is, if possible, more 
obvious and easy to the illiterate than to the erudite. 
No man, therefore, has any excuse if he neglect it. 
The way is plain before him, and he is invited to enter. 
He has only to kneel at the foot of the cross, and cry, 
with the poor publican, ' Lord have mercy upon me, a 
miserable sinner.' If he do this, and examine his own 
heart, and mortify the body of sin within him, as far 
as he is able, humbly and earnestly imploring the as- 
sistance of God's holy Spirit, we cannot doubt but he 
will meet with the approbation and assistance of the 
Almighty. In this path we must all tread. In this 
path I hope that you, my dear sister, are now proceed- 
ing. You have children; to whom can you commit 
them, should Providence call you hence, with more 
confidence than the meek and benevolent Jesus ? 
What legacy can you leave them more certainly pro- 


fitable, than the prayers of a pious mother? and if, 
taught by your example, as well as by your instructions, 
they should become themselves patterns of a holy 
and religious life, how sweetly will the evening of your 
days shine upon your head, as you behold them tread- 
ing in those ways which you know, by experience, to 
be ways of pleasantness and peace ! I need not press 
this subject. I know you feel all that I say, and more 
than I can express. I only fear that the bustle of 
family cares, as well as many anxieties of mind on 
other accounts, should too much divert you from these 
important objects. Let me only remind you, that the 
prayers of the afflicted are particularly acceptable to 
God. The sigh of the penitent is not too light to reach 
his ear. The eye of God is fixed as intently upon your 
soul at all times, as it is upon the revolution of the 
heavenly bodies and the regulation of systems. God 
surveys all things, and he contemplates them with 
perfect attention ; and, consequently, he is as intently 
conversant about the smallest as about the greatest 
things. For if he were not as perfectly intent on the 
soul of au individual being as he is about the general 
concerns of the universe, then he would do one thing 
less perfectly than another; which is impossible in God. 


DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, June 30th, 1806. 

I received your letter yesterday: and I hope you 
will not think my past silence at all in need of apology, 
when you know that our examination only closed on 

I have the satisfaction of informing you, that after a 


week's scrutiny, I was deemed to be the first man. I 
had very little hopes of arriving at so distinguishing a 
station, on account of my many checks and interrup- 
tions. It gave me great pleasure to observe how all 
the men rejoiced in my success. It was on Monday 
that the classes were published. I am a prize-man 
both in the mathematical and logical, or general ex- 
amination, and in Latin composition. 

Mr. Catton has expressed his great satisfaction at 
my progress ; and he has offered to supply me with a 
private tutor for the four months of the vacation, free 
of any expense. This will cost the college twelve or 
fifteen guineas at least. My last term bill amounts 
only to 4Z. 5s. 3d. after my exhibitions are deducted. 

I had engaged to take charge of a few classical 
pupils, for a clergyman in Warwickshire, during one 
month of the vacation, for which I was to receive, be- 
sides my board, &c. &c. ten guineas ; but Mr. Catton 
says this is a piece of extreme folly, as it will con- 
sume time, and do me no good. He told me, there- 
fore, positively, that he would not give me an exeat, 
without which no man can leave his college for the 

I cannot, therefore, at all events, visit Nottingham 
with my aunt, nor meet her there. 

I could now, if I chose, leave St. John's College, 
and go to another with great eclat ; but it would be an 
unadviseable step. I believe, however, it will be im- 
possible for them to elect me a fellow at St. John's, as 
my county is under particular restrictions. They can 
give me a fellowship of smaller value, but I had rather 
get one at another college J . at all events, the smaller 
colleges will be glad to elect me from St. John's. 

2 G 


With regard to cash, I manage pretty well, though 
my fund is at present at its lowest ebb. My bills, 
however, are paid ; and I have no occasion for money, 
except as a private convenience. The question there- 
fore is, whether it will be more inconvenient to you 
than convenient to me for you to replenish my purse ? 
Decide impartially. I have not drawn upon my mother 
since Christmas, except for the expense of my journey 
up from Nottingham to Cambridge; nor do I mean to 
do it till next Christmas, when, as I have ordered a 
suit of clothes, I shall have a good many calls for 

Let me have a long letter from you soon. 


MY DEAR MOTHER, St. John's, July 9th, 1806. 

I have scarcely time to write you a long letter; but 
the pleasing nature of my intelligence will, I hope, 
make up for its shortness. 

After a week's examination, I am decided to be the 
first man of my year at St. John's : an honour I had 
scarcely hoped for, since my reading has been so very 
broken and interrupted. The contest was very stiff, 
and the men all acquitted themselves very well. We 
had thirteen men in the Jirst class, though there are 
seldom more than six or eight who attain that rank in 

I have learned also that I am a prize-man in classical 
composition, though I do not yet know whereabouts I 
stand. It is reported that here too I am first. 

Before it was known that I was the first man, Mr. 
Catton, our college tutor, told me that he was so satis- 


fied with the manner in which I had passed through the 
examination, that if I chose to stay up during the sum- 
mer, I should have a private tutor in the mathematics., 
and that it should be no expense to me. I could not 
hesitate at such a proposal, especially as he did not 
limit the time for my keeping the private tutor, but 
will probably continue it as long as I like. You may 
estimate the value of this favour, when I tell you that 
a private tutor, for the whole vacation, will cost the 
college at least twelve or fourteen guineas, and that 
during term time they receive ten guineas the term. 

I cannot of course leave the college this summer 
even for a week, and shall therefore miss the pleasure 

of seeing my aunt G at Nottingham. I have 

written to her. 

It gave me much pleasure to observe the joy all the 
men seemed to feel at my success. I had been on a 
water excursion, with a clergyman in the neighbour- 
hood, and some ladies, and just got home as the men 
were assembling for supper ; you can hardly conceive 
with what pleasure they all flocked round me, with the 
most hearty congratulations ; and I found that many of 
them had been seeking me all over the college, in order 
to be the first to communicate the good tidings. 

• ^ * •?& 7S* » 


MY DEAR FRIEND, St. John's, July, 1806. 

I have good and very bad news to communicate to 
you. Good, that Mr. Catton has given me an exhibi- 
tion, which makes me up a clear income of 63/. per 
annum, and that I am consequently more than inde- 
pendent ; bad, that I have been very ill, notwithstand- 
2 g 2 


ing regular and steady exercise. Last Saturday morn- 
ing I rose early, and got up some rather abstruse pro- 
blems in mechanics for my tutor, spent an hour with 
him, between eight and nine got my breakfast, and 
read the Greek History (at breakfast) till ten, then sat 
down to decypher some logarithm tables. I think I had 
not done any thing at them, when I lost myself. At 
a quarter past eleven my laundress found me bleeding 
in four different places, in my face and head, and in- 
sensible. I got up, and staggered about the room, and 
she, being frightened, ran away, and told my Gyp to 
fetch a surgeon. Before he came, I was sallying out 
with my flannel gown on, and my academical gown 
over it: he made me put on my coat, and then I went 
to Mr. Farish's : he opened a vein, and my recollec- 
tion returned. My own idea was, that I had fallen 
out of bed, and so I told Mr. Farish at first ; but I 
afterward remembered that I had been to Mr. Fiske, 
and breakfasted. 

Mr. Catton has insisted on my consulting Sir Isaac 
Pennington, and the consequence is, that I am to go 
through a course of blistering, &c. which, after the 
bleeding, will leave me weak enough. 

I am, however, very well, except as regards the 
doctors ; and yesterday I drove into the country to Saf- 
fron Walden in a gig. My tongue is in a bad condition, 
from a bite which I gave it either in my fall, or in the 
moments of convulsion. My nose has also come badly 
off. I believe I fell against my reading desk. My 
other wounds are only rubs and scratches on the carpet. 

I am ordered to remit my studies for a while, by the 
common advice both of doctors and tutors. Dr. Pen- 
nington hopes to prevent any recurrence of the fit. He 
thinks it looks towards epilepsy, of the horrors of which 


malady I have a very full and precise idea ; and I only 
pray that God will spare me as respects my faculties, 
however else it may seem good to him to afflict me. 
Were I my own master, I know how I should act ; but 
I am tied here by bands which I cannot burst. I know 
that change of place is needful; but I must not in- 
dulge in the idea. The college must not pay my tutor 
for nothing. Dr. Pennington and Mr. Farish attribute 
the attack to a too-continued tension of the faculties. 
As I am much alone now, I never get quite off study, 
and I think incessantly. I know nature will not endure 
this. They both proposed my going home, but Mr. * * 
did not hint at it, although much concerned ; and, in- 
deed, I know home would be a bad place for me in my 
present situation. I look round for a resting-place, 
and I find none. Yet there is one, which I have long 
too, too much disregarded, and thither I must now be- 
take myself. There are many situations worse than 
mine, and I have no business to complain. If these 
afflictions should draw the bonds tighter which hold 
me to my Redeemer, it will be well. 

You may be assured that you have here a plain state- 
ment of my case, in its true colours, without any pal- 
liation. I am now well again, and have only to fear a 
relapse, which I shall do all in my power to prevent, 
by a relaxation in study. 

I have now written too much. 

I am very sincerely yours, 


P. S. I charge you, as you value my peace, not to 
let my friends hear, either directly or indirectly, of my 

2 g 3 



MY DEAR NEVILLE, St. JoWs, 30th July, 1806. 

I had deferred sitting down to write to you until I 
should have leisure to send you a very long letter ; but 
as that time seems every day farther off, I shall beg 
your patience no longer, but fill my sheet as well as 
I can. 

I must first reply to your queries. I beg pardon for 
having omitted to mention the receipt of the * * *, 
but, as I acknowledged the receipt of the parcel, I con- 
cluded that jou would understand me to mean its con- 
tents as specified in your letter. But I know the accu- 
racy of a man of business too well to think your caution 
strange. As to the college prizes r I have the satisfac- 
tion of telling you that I am entitled to two, viz. the 
first for the general examination, and one of the first 
for the classical composition. I say one of the first on 
this account — I am put equal with two others at the 
top of the list. In this contest I had all the men of the 
three years to contend with, and, as both my equals 
are my seniors in standing, I have no reason to be dis- 

& * # # 

The Rhetoric Lecturer sent me one of my Latin 
Essays to copy, for the purpose of inspection ; a com- 
pliment which was paid to none of the rest. 
* * * * 

We three are the only men who are honoured with 
prizes, so that we have cut four or five Eton men, who 
are always boasting of their classical ability. 

With regard to your visit here, I think you had better 
come in term time, as the university is quite empty, 


and starers have nothing but the buildings to gaze at. 
If, however, you can come more conveniently now than 
hereafter, I would advise you not to let this circum- 
stance prevent you. I shall be glad to see Mr. * * with 
you. You may spend a few days very pleasantly here, 
even in vacation time, though you will scarcely meet 
a gownsman in the streets. 

I thought the matter over about * * * \but I do not 

think I have any influence here. Being myself a young 

man, I cannot, with any chance of success, attempt to 

direct even that interest which I may claim with others. 

# # # # 

The university is the worst place in the world for 
making interest. The great mass of men are them- 
selves busily employed in wriggling themselves into 
places and livings : and there is in general too much 
anxiety for No. 1 , to permit any interference for a neigh- 
bour, No. 2. 

* * * * 


MY DEAR MOTHER, St. John's, Aug. 1806. 

I have no hesitation in declining the free-school, on 
the ground of its precluding the exercise of the minis- 
terial duties. I shall take the liberty of writing Mr. 

to thank him for having thought of me, and to 

recommend to his notice Mr. ■. 

* * * * 
But do not fret yourself, my dear mother; in a few 
years we shall, I hope, be in happier circumstances. I 
am not too sanguine in my expectations, but I shall 
certainly be able to assist you, and my sisters, in a few 
years. * * * *. As for Maria and Kate, if they sue- 


ceed well in their education, they may, perhaps, be able 
to keep a school of a superior kind, where the profits will 
be greater, and the labour less. I even hope that this 
may not be necessary, and that you, my father, and 
they, may come and live with me when I get a parson- 
age. You would be pleased to see how comfortably 

Mr. lives with his mother and sisters, at a snug 

little rectory about ten miles from Cambridge. So much 
for castle-building. 

TO MR. * * * 

MY GOOD FRIEND, St. John's, Aug. 15, 1806. 

I have deferred writing to you until my return from 

Mr. 's, knowing how much you would like to hear 

from me in respect to that dear family, I am afraid 
your patience has been tried by this delay, and I trust 
to this circumstance alone as my excuse. 

My hours have seldom flowed so agreeably as they 

did at S , nor perhaps have I made many visits 

which have been more profitable to me in a religious 
sense. The example of Mr. will, I hope, stimu- 
late me to a faithful preparation for the sacred office 
to which I am destined. I say a faithful preparation, 
because I fear I am apt to deceive myself with respect 
to my present pursuits, and to think I am only labour- 
ing for the honour of God, when I am urging literary 
labours to a degree inconsistent with duty and my real 
interests. Mr. — — is a good and careful pastor; my 
heart has seldom been so full as when I have accom- 
panied him to the chambers of the sick, or have heard 
his affectionate addresses to the attentive crowd, which 
fills his schoolr-room on Sunday evening. — He is so 


earnest, and yet so sober, so wise, and yet so simple ! 
You, my dear R , are now very nearly approach- 
ing to the sacred office, and I sincerely pray that you 
may be stimulated to follow after the pattern of our ex- 
cellent friend. You may have Mr. 's zeal, but 

you will need his learning and his judgment to temper 
it. Remember, that it is a work of much more self- 
denial, for a man of active habits to submit to a course 
of patient study, than to suffer many privations for 
Christ's sake. In the latter the heart is warmly inter- 
ested : the other is the slow and unsatisfactory labour 
ef the head, tedious in its progress, and uncertain in 
its produce. Yet there is a pleasure, a great and inde- 
scribable pleasure, in sanctified study : the more weari- 
some the toil, the sweeter will it be to those who sit 
down with a subdued and patient spirit, content to 
undergo much tedium and fatigue, for the honour of 
God's ministry. Reading, however dry, soon becomes 
interesting, if we pursue it with a resolute spirit of in- 
vestigation, and a determinate purpose of thoroughly 
mastering what we are about. You cannot take up the 
most tiresome book, on the most tiresome subject, and 
read it with fixed attention for an hour, but you feel a 
desire to go on : and here I would exhort you, what- 
ever you read, read it accurately and thoroughly, and 
never to pass over any thing, however minute, which 
you do not quite comprehend. This is the only way to 
become really learned, and to make your studies satis- 
factory and productive. If I were capable of directing 
your course of reading, I should recommend you to 
peruse Butler's Analogy, "Warburton's Divine Legation, 
Prideaux and Shuckford's Connexions,, and Milner's 
Church History, century for century, along with Mo- 
sheim's Ecclesiastical History. The latter is learned, 


concise, clear, and written in good scholastic Latirr. 
Study the Chronology of the Old Testament, and as a 
mean of making it interesting, trace out the completion 
of the prophecies. Read your Greek Testament with 
the nicest accuracy, tracing every word to its root, and 
seeking out the full force of particular expressions, by 
reference both to Parkhurst and Scapula. The deriva- 
tion of words will throw great light on many parts of 
the New Testament : thus, if we know that the word 
Sianovog, a deacon, comes from dia and kovlo, to bustle 
about in the dust, we shall have a fuller notion of the 
humility of those who held the office in the primitive 
church. In reading the Old Testament, wherever you 
find a passage obscure, turn to the Septuagint, which 
will often clear up a place better than fifty commen- 
tators. Thus, in Joel, the day of the Lord is called 
* a day of gloominess, a day of darkness, and of clouds, like 
the morning spread upon the mountains,' which is a con- 
tradiction. Looking at the Septuagint, we find that 
the passage is mispointed, and that the latter metaphor 
is applied to the people : i A people great and strong, 
like the morning spread upon the mountains/ The 
Septuagint is very easy Greek, quite as much so as the 
Greek Testament ; and a little practice of this kind will 
help you in your knowledge of the language, and make 
you a good critic. I perceive your English style is very 
unpolished, and I think this a matter of great moment. 
I should recommend you to read, and imitate as nearly 
as you can, the serious papers in the eighth volume of 
the Spectator, particularly those on the Ubiquity of the 
Deity. Accustom yourself to write down your thoughts, 
and to polish the style some time after composition, 
when you have forgotten the expression. Aim at con- 
ciseness, neatness, and clearness ; never make use of 


fine or vulgar words. Avoid every epithet which does 
not add greatly to the idea; for every addition of this 
kind, if it do not strengthen, weakens the sentiment; 
and be cautious never to express by two words, what 
you can do as well by one ; a multiplicity of words only 
hides the sense, just as a superabundance of clothes does 
the shape. This much for studies. 

* * * * 
i I recommend you to pause, and consider much an$ 
well on the subject of matrimony. You have heard my 
sentiments with regard to a rich wife ; but I am much 
too young, and too great an enthusiast, to be even a 
tolerable counsellor on a point like this. You must 
think for yourself, and consult with prudent and pious 
people, whose years have taught them the wisdom of 
the present world, and whose experience has instructed 
them in that of the world to come. But a little sober 
thought is worth a world of advice. You have, how- 
ever, an infallible adviser, and to his directions you 
may safely look. To him I commend all your ways. 
. I have one observation to make, which I hope, you 
will forgive in me, it is, that you fall in love top readily. 
I have no notion of a man's having a certain species of 
affection for two women at once. I am afraid you let 
your admiration outrun your judgment in the outset, 
and then comes the denouement and its attendants, dis- 
appointment and disgust. Take good heed you do not 
do this in marriage ; for if you do, there will be great 
risk of your making shipwreck of your hopes. Be con- 
tent to learn a woman's good qualities as they gradually 
reveal themselves ; and do not let your imagination 
adorn her with virtues and charms to which she has 
no pretension. I think there is often a little disappoint- 
ment after marriage — our angels turn out to be mere 


Eves — but the true way of avoiding, or, at least, les- 
sening this inconvenience, is to estimate the object of 
our affections really as she is, without deceiving our- 
selves, and injuring her, by elevating her above her 
sphere. This is the way to be happy in marriage ; for 
upon this plan our partners will be continually breaking 
in upon us, and delighting us with some new discovery 
of excellence : while, upon the other plan, we shall 
always be finding that the reality falls short of what 
we had so fondly and so foolishly imagined. 

Be very sedulous and very patient in your studies. 
You would shudder at the idea of obtruding yourself 
on the sacred office in a condition rather to disgrace 
than to adorn it. St. Paul is earnest in admonishing 
Timothy to give attention to reading : and that holy 
apostle himself quotes from several of the best authors 
among the Greeks. His style is also very elegant, and 
polished on occasion. He, therefore, did not think the 
graces of composition beneath his attention, as some 
foolish and ignorant preachers of the present day are 
apt to do. I have written a longer letter to you than 
I expected, and I must now therefore say, good bye. 
I am, 
Very affectionately yours, 


DEAR NEVILLE, St. John's, August 12th, 1806. 

I can but just manage to tell you, by this post, what I 
am sure you will be glad to learn, even at the expense 
of seven-pence for an empty sheet, that Mr. Catton has 
given me an exhibition, which makes my whole income 
sixty guineas a-year. My last term's bill was 13/. 13s., 


and I had 11. 12«y. to receive; but the expenses of this 
vacation will leave me bare until Christmas. 

I have the pleasure of not having solicited either this 
or any other of the favours which Mr. Catton has so 
liberally bestowed upon me : and though I have been 
the possessor of this exhibition ever since March Jast, 
yet Mr. Catton did not hint it to me until this morning, 
when he gave me my bill. 

I have, of course, signified to Mr. Simeon, that I 
shall have no need whatever of the stipend which I 
have hitherto received through his hands. He was 
extremely kind on the occasion, and indeed his con- 
duct towards me has ever been fatherly. It was 
jy[ r< * * * TflfoQ a ll owe( j me 20/. per annum, and Mr. 
Simeon added 10/. He told me, that my conduct gave 
him the most heartfelt joy ; that I was so generally 
respected, without having made any compliances, as he 
understood, or having, in any instance, concealed my 
principles. Indeed, this is a praise which I may claim, 
though I never conceived that it was at all an object of 
praise. I have always taken some pains to let those 
around me know my religious sentiments, as a saving 
of trouble, and as a mark of that independence Oi 
opinion, which, I think, every one ought to assert : and 
as I have produced my opinions with frankness and 
modesty, and supported them (if attacked) with cool- 
ness and candour, I have never found them any im- 
pediment to my acquaintance with any person whose 
acquaintance I coveted. 


TO MR. R. W. A. 

DEAR A. St. John's, Aug. 18th, 1806. 

I am glad to hear of your voyages and travels through 
various regions, and various seas, both of this island, 
and its little suckling the Isle of Wight. 

Many hair's breadth 'scapes and perilous adventures 
you must needs have had, and many a time, on the ex- 
treme shores of the south, must you have looked up 
with the eye of intelligent curiosity to see whether the 
same moon shone there as in the pleasant, but now far 
distant groves of Colwick. And now, my very wise 
and travelled friend, seeing that your head is yet upon 
your shoulders, and your neck in its right natural 
position, and seeing that, after all the changes and 
chances of a long journey, and after being banged from 
post to pillar, and from pillar to post; seeing, I say, 
that after all this, you are safely housed once more 
under your paternal roof, what think you, if you were 
to indulge your mind as much as you have done your 
eyes and gaping muscles? A few trips to the fountains 
of light and colour, or to the regions of the good lady 
who ytpaiv ddcLXoig dUnei a<poppov ttovtov, a ramble 
down the Galaxy, and a few peeps on the unconfined 
confines (ttot/jlov airoTfiov, virvov avirvov, fiibv ov fii&nov) 
of infinite space, would prove, perhaps, as delectable 
to your immaterial part, as the delicious see-saw of a 
post chaise was to your corporeal; or, if these ethereal, 
aeronautical, mathematical volutations should displease 
you, perhaps it would not be amiss to saunter a few 
weeks on the site of Troy, or to lay out plans of ancient 
history on the debatable ground of the Peloponnesians 
and Athenians. There is one Thucydides, who lives 


near, who will tell you all about the places you visit, 
and the great events connected with them : he is a 
sententious old fellow, very shrewd in his remarks, and 
speaks, moreover, very excellent Greek at your service. 
I know not whether you have met with any guide in 
the course of your bodily travels who can be compared 
to him. If you should make Rome in your way, either 
there or back, I should like to give you a letter of in- 
troduction to an old friend of mine, whose name is 
Livy, who, as far as his memory extends, will amuse 
you with pretty stories, and some true history. There 
is another honest fellow enough, to whom I have not 
recommended you, he is so very crabbed and tart, and 
speaks so much in epigrams and enigmas, that I am 
afraid he would teach you to talk as unintelligibly as 
himself. I do not mean to give you any more advice, 
but I have one exhortation, which I hope you will take 
in good part : it is this, that if you set out on this jour- 
ney, you will please to proceed to its end: for I have 
been acquainted with some young men, who have turned 
their faces towards Athens or Rome, and trudged on 
manfully for a few miles, but when they had travelled 
till they grew weary, and worn out a good pair of shoes, 
have suddenly become disheartened, and returned 
without any recompense for their pains. 

And now let me assume a more serious strain, and 
exhort you to cultivate your mind with the utmost 
assiduity. You are at a critical period of your life, 
and the habits which you now form will, most pro- 
bably, adhere to you through life. If they be idle 
habits, I am sure they will. 

But even the cultivation of your mind is of minor 
importance to that of your heart, your temper, and dis- 
position. Here I have need not to preach, but to learn. 
2 h 2 


You have had less to encounter in your religious pro- 
gress than / have, and your progress has been there- 
fore greater, greater even than your superior faculties 
■would have warranted. I have had to fight hard with 
vanity at home, and applause abroad : no wonder that 
ray vessel has been tossed about ; but greater wonder 
that it is yet upon the waves. I exhort you to pray 
with me (and I entreat you to pray for me), that we 
may both weather out the storm, and arrive in the 
haven of sound tranquillity, even on this side the grave. 
We have all particular reason to watch and pray, 
lest self too much predominate. We should accustom 
ourselves to hold our own comforts and conveniences 
as subordinate to the comforts and conveniences of 
others in all things : and a habit thus began in little 
matters, might probably be extended without difficulty 
to those of a higher nature. 


MY DEAR BEN, St. John's, 14th Sept. 1806. 

I can scarcely write more to you now than just to calm 
your uneasiness on my account. I am perfectly well 
again, and have experienced no recurrence of the fit: 
my spirits too are better, and I read very moderately. 
I hope that God will be pleased to spare his rebellious 
child ; this stroke has brought me nearer to Him : 
whom indeed have I for my comforter but Him ? 

I am still reading, but with moderation, as I have been 
during the whole vacation, whatever you may persist 
in thinking. 

My heart turns with more fondness towards the con- 
solations of religion than it did, and in some degree 


I have found consolation, I still, however, conceive 
that it is my duty to pursue my studies temperately, 
and to fortify myself with Christian resignation and 
calmness for the worst. I am much wanting in these 
virtues, and, indeed, in all Christian virtues ; but I 
know how desirable they are, and I long for them. 
Pray that I may be strengthened and enlightened, and 
that I may be enabled to go where duty bids, wherever 
that be. 


MY DEAR FRIEND, St. John's, Camb. 22d Sept. 1806. 

* * * * 

You charge me with an accession of gallantry of late; 
I plead guilty. I really began to think of marriage 
(very prematurely, you'll say) ; but if I experience any 
repetition of the Jit, I shall drop the idea of it for ever. 
It would be folly and cruelty to involve another in all 
the horrors of such a calamity. 

I thank you for your kind exhortations to a complete 
surrender of my heart to God, which are contained in 
your letter. In this respect I have betrayed the most 
deplorable weakness and indecision of character. I 
know what the truth is, and I love it ; but I still go on 
giving myself half to God, and half to the world, as if 
I expected to enjoy the comforts of religion along with 
the vanities of life. If, for a short time, I keep up 
a closer communion with God, and feel my whole bo- 
som bursting with sorrow and tenderness as I approach 
the footstool of my Saviour, I soon relapse into indiffer- 
ence, worldly-mindedness, and sin; my devotions be- 
come listless and perfunctory : I dote on the world, its 
toys, and its corruptions, and am mad enough to be 
2 h 3 


willing to sacrifice the happiness of eternity to the de- 
ceitful pleasures of the passing moment. My heart is 
indeed a lamentable sink of loathsome corruption and 
hypocrisy. In consistency with my professed opinions, 
I am ofteu obliged to talk on subjects of which I know 
but little in experience, and to rank myself with those 
who have felt, what I only approve from my head, 
and, perhaps, esteem from my heart. I often start 
with horror and disgust from myself, when I consider 
how deeply I have imperceptibly gone into this 
species of simulation. Yet I think my love for the 
Gospel, and its professors, is sincere ; only I am insin- 
cere in suffering persons to entertain a high opinion of 
me as a child of God, when indeed I am an alien from 
him. On looking over some private memorandums, 
which were written at various times in the course of 
the two last years, I beheld, with inexpressible anguish, 
that my progress has, if any thing, been retrograde. 
I am still as dark, still as cold, still as ignorant, still 
as fond of the world, and have still fewer desires after 
holiness. I am very, very dissatisfied with myself, and 
yet I am not prompted to earnest prayer. I have been 
so often earnest, and always have fallen away, that I 
go to God without hope, without faith. Yet I am not 
totally without hope ; I know God will have my whole 
heart, and I know, when I give him that, I shall expe- 
rience the light of his countenance with a permanency, 
I pray that he would assist my weakness, and grant me 
some portion of his grace, in order that I may over- 
come the world, the flesh, and the devil, to which I 
have long, very long, been a willing, though an unhappy 
slave. Do you pray earnestly with me, and for me, in 
these respects ; I know the prayers of the faithful avail 
much ; and when you consider with what great temp- 


tations I am surrounded, and how very little strength 
I have wherewith to resist them, you will feel with me 
the necessity of earnest supplication, and fervent inter- 
cession, lest I should be lost, and cast away for ever. 
I shall gladly receive your spiritual advice and di- 
rections. I have gone on too long in coldness and 
unconcern ; who knows whether, if I neglect the pre- 
sent hour, the day of salvation may not be gone by for 


St. John's, 22d Sept. 1806. 

Thank you for taking the blame of our neglected cor- 
respondence on your own shoulders. I thought it rested 
elsewhere. Thrice have I begun to write to you ; once 
in Latin, and twice in English ; and each time have the 
fates opposed themselves to the completion of my de- 
sign. But, however, pax sit rebus, we are naturally dis- 
posed to forgive, because we are, as far as intention 
goes, mutual offenders. 

I thank you for your invitation to Clapham, which 
came at a fortunate juncture, since I had just settled 
with my tutor that 1 should pay a visit to my brother 
in London this week. I shall of course see you ; and 
shall be happy to spend a few days with you at Clap- 
ham, and to rhapsodize on your common. It gives me 
pleasure to hear you are settled, and I give you many 
hearty good wishes for practice and prosperity. I hope 
you will soon find that a wife is a very necessary article 
of enjoyment in a domesticated state ; for how, indeed, 
should it -be otherwise ? A man cannot cook his dinner 


while he is employed in earning it. Housekeepers are 
complete helluones rei familiar is, and not only pick your 
pockets, bat abuse you into the bargain. While a wife, 
on the contrary, both cooks your dinner and enlivens 
it with her society ; receives you after the toils of the 
day with cheerfulness and smiles, and is not only the 
faithful guardian of your treasury, but the soother of 
your cares, and the alleviator of your calamities. Now, 
am I not very poetical? But on such a subject who 
would not be poetical? A wife ! — a domestic fire-side; 
—the cheerful assiduities of love and tenderness! It 
would inspire a Dutch burgomaster ! and if, with all 
this in your grasp, you shall choose the pulsare terram 
pede libero, still avoid the irrupia copula, still deem it a 
matter of light regard to be an object of affection and 
fondness to an amiable and sensible woman, why then 
you deserve to be a fellow of a college all your days; 
to be kicked about in your last illness by a saucy and 
careless bed-maker ; and, lastly, to be put in the ground 
in your college chapel, followed only by the man who 
is to be your successor. Why, man, I dare no more 
dream that I shall ever have it in my power to have a 
wife, than that I shall be Archbishop of Canterbury, 
and Primate of all England. A suite of rooms in a 
still and quiet corner of old St. John's, which was once 
occupied by a crazy monk, or by one of the translators 
of the Bible in the days of good King James, must form 
the boundary of my ambition. I must be content to 
inhabit walls which never echoed with a female voice, 
to be buried in glooms which were never cheered with 
a female smile. It is said, indeed, that women were 
sometimes permitted to visit St. John's when it was a 
monastery of Black-Friars, in order to be present at 
particular religious ceremonies ; but the good monks 


were careful to sprinkle holy water wherever their pro- 
fane footsteps had carried contagion and pollution. 

It is well that you are free from the restrictions of 
monastic austerity, and that, while I sleep under the 
shadow of towers and lofty walls, and the safeguard of 
a vigilant porter, you are permitted to inhabit your own 
cottage, under your own guardianship, and to listen to 
the sweet accents of domestic affection. 

Yes, my very Platonic, or rather Stoical friend, I must 
see you safely bound in the matrimonial noose, and then, 
like a confirmed bachelor, ten years hence, I shall have 
the satisfaction of pretending to laugh at, while, in my 
heart, I envy you. So much for rhapsody. I am com- 
ing to London for relaxation's sake, and shall take it 
pretty freely ; that is, I shall seek after fine sights — 
stare at fine people— be cheerful with the gay — foolish 
with the simple — and leave as little room to suspect as 
possible that I am (any thing of) a philosopher and 
mathematician. I shall probably talk a little Greek, 
but it will be by stealth, in order to excite no suspicion. 

I shall be in town on Friday or Saturday. I am in 
a very idle mood, and have written you a very idle letter, 
for which I entreat your pardon: and I am, 

Dear C , 

Very sincerely yours, 



(Found in his pocket after his decease.) 

St. John's College, Saturday, Oct. 11th, 1806. 

I am safely arrived, and in college, but my illness has 
increased upon me much. The cough continues, and 


is attended with a good deal of fever. I am under the 
care of Mr. Farish, and entertain very little apprehen- 
sion about the cough ; but my over-exertions in town 
have reduced me to a state of much debility ; and, until 
the cough be gone, I cannot be permitted to take any 
strengthening medicines. This places me in an awk- 
ward predicament ; but I think I perceive a degree of 
expectoration this morning, which will soon relieve me, 
and then I shall mend apace. 

Under these circumstances, I must not expect to see 
you here at present : when I am a little recovered, it 
will be a pleasant relaxtion to me. 

* * * * 

Our lectures began on Friday, but I do not attend 
them until I am better. I have not written to my mo- 
ther, nor shall I while I remain unwell. You will tell 
her, as a reason, that our lectures began on Friday. I 
know she will be uneasy, if she do not hear from me, 
and still more so, if I tell her I am ill, 

I cannot write more at present, than that I am 
Your truly affectionate brother, 

HINTS, &c. 

Why will not men be contented with appearing what 
they are ? As sure as we attempt to pass for what we 
are not, we make ourselves ridiculous. With religious 
professors, this ought to be a consideration of import- 
ance ; for when we assume credit for what we do not 
possess, we break the laws of God in more ways than 
we are aware of: vanity and deceit are both implicated. 


Why art thou so disquieted, O my soul, and why so 
full of heaviness? O put thy trust in God; for 1 will 
yet thank him who is the help of my countenance, and 
my God. Ps. xlii. 

Domine Jesu ! in te speravi, miserere mei! Ne sperne 
animum miserrimi peccatoris. 

The love of Christ is the only source from whence a 
Christian can hope to derive spiritual happiness and 
peace. Now the love of Christ will not reside in the 
bosom already preoccupied with the love of the world, 
or any other predominating affection. We must give 
up everything for it, and we know it deserves that dis- 
tinction; yet, upon this principle, unless the energy 
of Divine grace were what it is, mighty and irresistible, 
who would be saved? 

The excellence of our liturgy, and our establishment, 
is more and more impressed upon my mind : how ad- 
mirable do her confessions, her penitentiary offerings, 
her intercessions, her prayers, suit with the case of the 
Christian ! It is a sign that a man's heart is not right 
with God, when he finds fault with the liturgy. 

Contempt of religion is distinct from unbelief: un- 
belief may be the result of proud reasonings, and inde- 
pendent research ; but contempt of the Christian doc- 
trine must proceed from profound ignorance. 

Lord, give me a heart to turn all knowledge to thy 
glory, and not to mine : keep me from being deluded with 
the lights of vain philosophy ; keep me from the pride 
of human reason ; let me not think my own thoughts, 
nor dream my own imaginations ; but, in all things act- 
ing under the good guidance of the Holy Spirit, may I 
live in all simplicity, humility, and singleness of heart, 


unto the Lord Jesus Christ, now and for ever more. 

[The above prayer was prefixed to a manual, or 

Almighty Father, at the close of another day T kneel 
before thee in supplication, and ere I compose my body 
to sleep, I would steal a few moments from weariness, 
to lift up my thoughts to thy perfections, to meditate on 
thy wonderful dispensations, and to make my request 
known unto thee. 

Although the hours of this day have not been spent 
in the busy haunts of society, but in the pursuit of 
needful and godly knowledge, yet I am conscious that 
my thoughts and actions have been far from pure ; and 
many vain and foolish speculations, many sinful thoughts 
and ambitious anticipations, have obtruded themselves 
on my mind. I know that I have felt pleasure in 
what I ought to have abhorred, and that I have not had 
thy presence continually in mind ; so that my ghostly 
enemy has mixed poison with my best food, and sowed 
tares with the good seed of instruction. Sometimes, 
too, the world has had too much to do with my thoughts ; 
I have longed for its pleasures, its splendours, its ho- 
nours, and have forgotten that I am a poor follower of 
Jesus Christ, whose inheritance is not in this land, but 
in the fields above. I do therefore supplicate and be- 
seech thee, Oh! thou my God and Father, that thou 
wilt not only forgive these my wanderings, but that thou 
wilt chasten my heart, and establish my affections, so 
that they may not be shaken by the light suggestions 
of the tempter Satan; and since I am of myself very 
weak, I implore thy restraining hand upon my under- 


standing, that I may not reason in the pride of worldly- 
wisdom, nor flatter myself on my attainments, but ever 
hold my judgment in subordination to thy word, and 
see myself as what I am, a helpless dependant on thy 
bounty. If a spirit of indolence and lassitude have at 
times crept on me, I pray thy forgiveness for it ; and if 
I have felt rather inclined to prosecute studies which 
procure respect from the world, than the humble know- 
ledge which becomes a servant of Christ, do thou check 
this growing propensity, and only bless my studies so 
far as they conduce to thy glory, and as thy glory is 
their chief end. My heart, O Lord ! is but too fond 
of this vain and deceitful world, and I have many fears 
lest I should make shipwreck of my hope on the rocks 
of ambition and vanity. Give me, I pray thee, thy 
grace to repress these propensities : illumine more com- 
pletely my wandering mind, rectify my understanding, 
and give me a simple, humble, and affectionate heart, to 
love thee and thy sheep with all sincerity. As I increase 
in learning, let me increase in lowliness of spirit : and 
inasmuch as the habits of studious life, unless tempered 
by preventing grace, but too much tend to produce for- 
mality and lifelessness in devotion, do thou, O heavenly 
Father, preserve me from all cold and speculative views 
of thy blessed Gospel ; and while with regular con- 
stancy I kneel down daily before thee, do not fail to 
light up the fire of heavenly love in my bosom, and to 
draw my heart heavenward with earnest longing [to 

And now, O Blessed Redeemer ! my rock, my hope, 
and only sure defence, to thee do I cheerfully commit 
both my soul and my body. If thy wise Providence see 
fit, grant that I may rise in the morning, refreshed with 
sleep, and with a spirit of cheerful activity, for the du- 
" 2 i 


ties of the day ; but whether I wake here or in eternity, 
grant that my trust in thee may remain sure, and my 
hope unshaken. Our Father, &c. 

[This prayer was discovered amongst some dirty loose papers 
of H. K. White's.] 

Mem. SEPTEMBER 22d, 1806. 

On running over the pages of this book, I am con- 
strained to observe, with sorrow and shame, that my 
progress in divine light has been little or none. 

I have made a few conquests over my corrupt incli- 
nations, but my heart still haukers after its old delights; 
still lingers half willing, half unwilling, in the ways of 

My knowledge of divine things is very little improved. 
I have read less of the Scriptures than I did last year. 
In reading the Fathers, I have consulted rather the 
pride of my heart than my spiritual good. 

I now turn to the cause of these evils, and I find that 
the great root, the main-spring, is — love of the world; 
next to that, pride ; next to that, spiritual sloth. 



The sublimity and unaffected beauty of the sacred 
writings are in no instance more conspicuous, than in 
the following verses of the xviiith Psalm : 

' He bowed the heavens also, and came down : and 
darkness was under his feet. 

1 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly : yea, he 
did fly upon the wings of the wind.' 


None of our better versions have been able to pre- 
serve the original graces of these verses. That wretch- 
ed one of Thomas Sternhold, however (which, to the 
disgrace and manifest detriment of religious worship, 
is generally used), has in this solitary instance, and 
then perhaps by accident, given us the true spirit of the 
Psalmist, and has surpassed not only Merrick, but even 
the classic Buchanan. This version is as follows :— 

' The Lord descended from above, 

And bowed the heavens high, 
And underneath his feet he cast 

The darkness of the sky. 

' On cherubs and on cherubims 

Full royally he rode, 
And on the wings of mighty winds 

Came flying all abroad.' 

Dryden honoured these verses with very high com- 
mendation, and, in the following lines of his Annus 
Mirabilis, has apparently imitated ;them, in preference 
to the original : 

* The duke less numerous, but in courage more, 
On wings of all the winds to combat flies.* 

And in his Ceyx and Alcyone, from Ovid, he has— 

* And now sublime she rides upon the wind,' 

which is probably imitated, as well as most of the fol- 
lowing, not from Sternhold, but the original. Thus 
Pope — 

' Not God alone in the still calm we find, 

He mounts the storm, and rides upon the wind.' 

And Addison — 

« Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.' 
2 i 2 


The unfortunate Chatterton has — 

' And rides upon the pinions of the wind.' 
And Gray — 

* With arms sublime that float upon the air.' 

Few poets of eminence have less incurred the charge 
of plagiarism than Milton ; yet many instances might 
be adduced of similarity of idea and language with the 
Scripture, which are certainly more than coincidences, 
and some of these I shall, in a future number, present 
to your readers. Thus the present passage in the 
Psalmist was in all probability in his mind when he 
wrote — 

And with mighty wings outspread, 

Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss.' 

Par. Lost, I. 20. b. 1. 

The third verse of the civth Psalm — 

' He maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings 
of the wind/ — 

is evidently taken from the before-mentioned verses in 
the xviiith Psalm, on which perhaps it is an improve- 
ment. It has also been imitated by two of our first 
poets, Shakspeare and Thomson. The former in Romeo 
and Juliet— 

' Bestrides the lazy-paced clouds, 
And sails upon the bosom of the air.' 

The latter in Winter, 1. 199. 

' Till Nature's King, who oft 

Amid tempestuous darkness dwells alone, 
And on the wings of the careering winds 
Walks dreadfully serene.' 

As these imitations have not before, I believe, been 


noticed, they cannot fail to interest the lovers of polite 
letters ; and they are such as at least will amuse your 
readers in general. If the sacred writings were atten- 
tively perused, we should find innumerable passages 
from which our best modern poets, have drawn their 
most admired ideas : and the enumerations of these 
instances would perhaps attract the attention of many 
persons to those volumes, which they now perhaps 
think to contain every thing tedious and disgusting, but 
which, on the contrary, they would find replete with 
interest, beauty, and true aublimity. 

In your Mirror for July, a Mr. William Toone has 
offered a few observations on a paper of mine, in a pre- 
ceding number, containing remarks on the versions and 
imitations of the 9th and 10th verses of the xviiith 
Psalm, to which I think it necessary to offer a few 
words by way of reply; as they not only put an erro- 
neous construction on certain passages of that paper, 
but are otherwise open to material objection. 

The object of Mr. Toone, in some parts of his ob- 
servations, appears to have been to refute something 
which he fancied I had advanced, tending to establish 
the general merit of Sternhold and Hopkins' transla- 
tion of the Psalms : but he might have saved himself 
this unnecessary trouble, as I have decidedly condemned 
it as mere doggrei, still preserved in our churches, to 
the detriment of religion ; and the version of the pas- 
sage in question is adduced as a brilliant, though pro- 
bably accidental, exception to the general character of 
the work. What necessity, therefore, your corre- 
2 1 3 


spondent could see for * hoping that I should think with 
him, that the sooner the old version of the Psalms was con- 
signed to oblivion, the better it would be for rational de- 
votion,* I am perfectly at a loss to imagine. 

This concluding sentence of Mr. Toone's paper, 
which I consider as introduced merely by way of round- 
ing the period, and making a graceful exit, needs no 
farther animadversion. I shall therefore proceed to 
examine the objections, of the worthy clergyman of the 
church of England, to these verses cited by your cor- 
respondent, by which he hopes to prove Dryden, Knox, 
and the numerous other eminent men who have ex- 
pressed their admiration thereof, to be little better than 
idiots. — The first is this : 

1 Cherubim is the plural for Cherub ; but our ver- 
gioner, by adding an s to it, has rendered them both 
plurals.' By adding an s to what? If the pronoun it 
refer to cherubim, as according to the construction of 
the sentence it really does, the whole objection is non- 
sense. — But the worthy gentleman, no doubt, meant to 
say, that Sternhold had rendered them both plurals by 
the addition of an s to cherub. Even in this sense, how- 
ever, I conceive the charge to be easily obviated ; for, 
though cherubim is doubtless usually considered as the 
plural of cherub, yet the two words are frequently so 
used in the Old Testament as to prove, that they were 
often applied to separate ranks of beings. One of 
these, which I shall cite, will dispel all doubt on the 
subject : 

• And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each 
ten cubits high. — 1 Kings, ver. 23. chap. vi. 

The other objection turns upon a word with which it 
is not necessary for me to interfere ; for I did not quote 
these verses as instances of the merit of Sternhold, or 


his version, I only asserted that the lines which I then 
copied, viz. 

* The Lord descended from above, &c. 

were truly noble and sublime. Whether, therefore, 
Sternhold wrote all the winds (as asserted by our cor- 
respondent, in order to furnish room for objection), or 
mighty winds, is of no import. But if this really be a 
subsequent alteration, I think at least there is no im- 
provement ; for when we conceive the winds as assem- 
bling from all quarters, at the omnipotent command of 
the Deity, and bearing him with their united forces 
from the heavens, we have a more sublime image than 
when we see him as flying merely on mighty winds, or 
as driving his team (or troop) of angels on a strong 
tempest's rapid wing, with most amazing swiftness, as 
elegantly represented by Brady and Tate* 

I differ from your correspondent's opinion, that these 
verses, so far from possessing sublimity, attract the 
reader merely by their rumbling sound: And here it may 
not be amiss to observe, that the true sublime does not 
consist of high-sounding words, or pompous magni- 
ficence ; on the contrary, it most frequently appears 
clad in native dignity and simplicity, without art, and 
without ornament. 

The most elegant critic of antiquity, Longinus, in his 
Treatise on the Sublime, adduces the following passage 
from the Book of Genesis, as possessing that quality in 

an eminent degree : 

' God said, Let there be light, and there was light : — Let the earth be, 
and earth was.'\ 

* The chariot of the King of kings, 

Which active troops of angels drew, 
On a strong tempest's rapid wings, 
With moat amazing swiftness flew . 
t The quotation appears to have been made from memory, and 
not correctly. 


From what I have advanced on this subject, I would 
not have it inferred, that I conceive the version of Stern- 
hold and Hopkins, generally speaking, to be superior 
to that of Brady and Tate ; for, on the contrary, in 
almost every instance, except that above mentioned, 
the latter possesses an indubitable right to pre-emi- 
nence. Our language, however, cannot yet boast one 
version possessing the true spirit of the original ; some 
are beneath contempt, and the best has scarcely at- 
tained mediocrity. Your correspondent has quoted 
some verses from Tate, in triumph, as comparatively 
excellent; but, in my opinion, they are also instances 
of our general failure in sacred poetry : they abound in 
those ambitiosa ornamenta which do well to please 
women and children, but which disgust the man of 

To the imitations already noticed of this passage, 
permit me to add the following : — 

' But various Iris, Jove's commands to bear, 
Speeds on the wings of winds through liquid air.' 

Pope's Iliad, b. 2, 

' Miguel cruzando os pelagos do vento.' 

Carlos Reduzido, Canto I. by Pedro de Azevedo 
Tojal, an ancient Portuguese poet of some merit. 


The poems of Thomas Warton are replete with a sub- 
limity and richness of imagery, which seldom fail to 
enchant : every line presents new beauties of idea, aided 
by all the magic of animated diction. From the inex- 
haustible stores of figurative language, majesty, and 
sublimity, which the ancient English poets afford, he 
has culled some of the richest and the sweetest flowers. 
But, unfortunately, in thus making use of the beauties 
of other writers, he has been too unsparing; for the 


greater number of his ideas and nervous epithets can- 
not, strictly speaking, be called his own; therefore, 
however we may be charmed by the grandeur of his 
images, or the felicity of his expression, we must still 
bear in our recollection, that we cannot with justice 
bestow upon him the highest eulogium of genius — that 
of originalty. 

It has, with much justice, been observed, that Pope, 
and his imitators, have introduced a species of refine- 
ment into our language, which has banished that nerve 
and pathos for which Milton had rendered it eminent. 
Harmonious modulations, and unvarying exactness of 
measure, totally precluding sublimity and fire, have re- 
duced our fashionable poetry to mere sing-song. But 
Thomas Warton, whose taste was unvitiated by the 
frivolities of the day, immediately saw the intrinsic 
worth of what the world then slighted. He saw that 
the ancient poets contained a fund of strength, and 
beauty of imagery, as well as diction, which, in the 
hands of genius, would shine forth with redoubled 
lustre. Entirely rejecting, therefore, modern niceties, 
he extracted the honied sweets from these beautiful, 
though neglected flowers. Every grace of sentiment, 
every poetical term, which a false taste had rendered 
obsolete, was by him revived and made to grace his 
own ideas; and though many will condemn him as 
guilty of plagiarism, yet few will be able to withhold 
the tribute of their praise. 

The peculiar forte of Warton seems to have been in 
the sombre descriptive. The wild airy flights of a 
Spenser, the ' chivalrous feats of barons bold/ or the 
' cloister'd solitude/ were the favourites of his mind. 
Of this his bent he informs us in the following lines:— 

Through Pope's soft song, though all the graces breathe, 
And happiest art adorns his attic page, 


Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow, 
As, at the root of mossy trunk reclin'd, 
In magic Spenser's wildly warhled song, 
I see deserted Una wander wide 
Through wasteful solitudes and lurid heaths, 
Weary, forlorn, than where the fated fair* 
Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames, 
Launches in all the lustre of brocade, 
Amid the splendours of the laughing sun. 
The gay description palls upon the sense, 
And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss. 

Pleasures of Melancholy . 

Warton's mind was formed for the grand and the sub- 
lime. Were his imitations less verbal, and less nume- 
rous, I should be led to imagine that the peculiar beau- 
ties of his favourite authors had sunk so impressively 
into his mind, that he had unwittingly appropriated 
them as his own ; but they are in general such as to 
preclude the idea. 

To the metrical and other intrinsic ornaments of 
style, he appears to have paid due attention. If we 
meet with an uncouth expression, we immediately per- 
ceive that it is peculiarly appropriate, and that no other 
term could have been made use of with so happy an 
effect. His poems abound with alliterative lines. In- 
deed, this figure seems to have been his favourite; and 
he studiously seeks every opportunity to introduce it : 
however, it must be acknowledged, that his * daisy- 
dappled dales,' &c. occur too frequently. 

The poem on which Warton's fame (as a poet) prin- 
cipally rests, is, the ' Pleasures of Melancholy ;' and 
(notwithstanding the perpetual recurrence of ideas which 
are borrowed from other poets) there are few pieces 
which I have perused with more exquisite gratification. 
The gloomy tints with which he overcasts his descrip- 

* Belinda. Vide Pope's Rape of the Lock. 


tions; his highly figurative language; and, above all, 
the antique air which the poem wears, convey the most 
sublime ideas to the mind. 

Of the other pieces of this poet, some are excellent, 
and they all rise above mediocrity. In his sonnets, he 
has succeeded wonderfully; that written at Winslade, 
and the one to the river Lodon, are peculiarly beau- 
tiful, and that to Mr. Gray is most elegantly turned. 
The ' Ode on the Approach of Summer' is replete with 
genius and poetic fire ; and even over the Birth-day 
Odes, which he wrote as poet-laureat, his genius has 
cast energy and beauty. His humorous pieces and 
satires abound in wit; and, in short, taking him alto- 
gether, he is an ornament to our country and our lan- 
guage ; and it is to be regretted, that the profusion 
with which he has made use of the beauties of other 
poets, should have given room for censure. 

I should have closed my short, and, I fear, jejune 
essay on Warton, but that I wished to hint to your truly 
elegant and acute Stamford correspondent, Octavius 
Gilchrist (whose future remarks on Warton's imitations 
I await with considerable impatience), that the passage 
in the Pleasures of Melancholy, 

-or ghostly shape, 

At distance seen, invites, with beck'ning hand, 

Thy lonesome steps,' 
which he supposes to be taken from the following in 
Comus — 

* Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire, 

And airy tongues that syllable men's names,' 

is more probably taken from the commencement of 
Pope's Elegy on an unfortunate Lady — 

« What beck'ning ghost, along the moonlight shade 

Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ?' 


The original idea was possibly taken from Comus by 
Pope, from whom War ton, to all appearance, again 
borrowed it. 

Were the similarity of the passage in Gray to that 
in Warton less striking and verbal, I should be inclined 
to think it only a remarkable coincidence ; for Gray's 
biographers inform us, that he commenced his elegy in 
1742, and that it was completed in 1744, being the year 
which he particularly devoted to the muses, though he 
did not ' put the finishing stroke to if until 1750. The 
Pleasures of Melancholy were published in 4to. in 
1747 ; therefore Gray might take his third stanza from 
Warton ; but it is rather extraordinary, that the third 
stanza of a poem should be taken from another, pub- 
lished^foe years after that poem was begun, and three 
after it was understood to be completed. One circum- 
stance, however, seems to render the supposition of its 
being a plagiarism somewhat more probable, which is, 
that the stanza in question is not essential to the con- 
nexion of the succeeding and antecedent verses ; there- 
fore it might have been added by Gray, when he put 
the 'finishing stroke* to his piece in 1750. 


The pleasure which is derived from the representation 
of an affecting tragedy, has often been the subject of 
inquiry among philosophical critics, as a singular phe- 
nomenon. — That the mind should receive gratification 
from the excitement of those passions which are in 
themselves painful, is really an extraordinary paradox, 
and is the more inexplicable, since, when the same 


means are employed to rouse the more pleasing affec- 
tions, no-adequate effect is produced. 

In order to solve this problem, many ingenious hy- 
potheses have been invented. The Abbe Du Bos tells 
us, that the mind has such a natural antipathy to a state 
of listlessness and languor, as to render the transition 
from it to a state of exertion, even though by rousing 
passions in themselves painful, as in the instance of 
tragedy, a positive pleasure. Monsieur Fontenelle has 
given us a more satisfactory account. He tells us that 
pleasure and pain, two sentiments so different in them- 
selves, do not differ so much in their cause;— that 
pleasure, carried too far, becomes pain ; and pain, a 
little moderated, becomes pleasure. Hence that the 
pleasure we derive from tragedy is a pleasing sorrow, 
a modulated pain. David Hume, who has also written 
upon this subject, unites the two systems, with this ad- 
dition, that the painful emotions excited by the repre- 
sentation of melancholy scenes, are farther tempered, 
and the pleasure is proportionably heightened by the 
eloquence displayed in the relation — the art shewn in 
collecting the pathetic circumstances, and the judgment 
evinced in their happy disposition. 

But even now I do not conceive the difficulty to be 
satisfactorily done away. Admitting the postulatum 
which the Abbe Du Bos assumes, that languor is so 
disagreeable to the mind, as to render its removal 
positive pleasure, to be true ; yet, when we recollect, 
as Mr. Hume has before observed, that were the same 
objects of distress which give us pleasure in tragedy, 
set before our eyes in reality, though they would ef- 
fectually remove listlessness, they would excite the 
most unfeigned uneasiness, we shall hesitate in apply- 
ing this solution in its full extent to the present subject. 
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M. Fontenelle's reasoning is much more conclusive ; 
yet I think he errs egregiously in his premises, if he 
means to imply that any modulation of pain is pleasing; 
because, in whatever degree it may be, it is still pain, 
and remote from either ease or positive pleasure ; and 
if, by moderated pain, he means any uneasy sensation 
abated, though not totally banished, he is no less mis- 
taken in the application of them to the subject before 
us. — Pleasure may very well be conceived to be pain- 
ful, when carried to excess, because it there becomes 
exertion, and is inconvenient. We may also form some 
idea of a pleasure arising from moderated pain, or the 
transition from the disagreeable to the less disagreeable ; 
but this cannot in any wise be applied to the gratifica- 
tion we derive from a tragedy, for there no superior 
degree of pain is felt for an inferior. As to Mr. Hume's 
addition of the pleasure we derive from the art of the 
poet, for the introduction of which he has written his 
whole dissertation on tragedy, it merits little consider- 
ation. The self-recollection necessary to render this 
art a source of gratification, must weaken the illusion; 
and whatever weakens the illusion diminishes the effect. 

In these systems it is taken for granted, that all those 
passions are excited which are represented in the 
drama. This I conceive to have been the primary 
cause of error ; for to me it seems very probable that 
the only passion or affection which is excited, is that of 
sympathy, which partakes of the pleasing nature of 
pity and compassion, and includes in it so much as is 
pleasing of hope and apprehension, joy and grief. 

The pleasure we derive from the afflictions of a friend 
is proverbial — every person has felt, and wondered why 
he felt, something soothing in the participation of the 
sorrows of those dear to his heart; and he might with 


as much reason have questioned why he was delighted 
with the melancholy scenes of a tragedy. Both plea- 
sures are equally singular ; they both arise from the 
same source : both originate in sympathy. 

It would seem natural that an accidental spectator 
of a cause in a court of justice, with which he is per- 
fectly unacquainted, would remain an uninterested 
auditor of what was going forward. Experience tells us, 
however, the exact contrary. He immediately, even be- 
fore he is well acquainted with the merits of the case, 
espouses one side of the question, to which he uni- 
formly adheres, participates in all its advantages, and 
sympathizes in its success. There is no denying that 
the interest this man takes in the business is a source 
of pleasure to him ; but we cannot suppose one of the 
parties in the cause, though his interest must be infi- 
nitely more lively, to feel an equal pleasure, because 
the painful passions are in him really roused, while in 
the other sympathy alone is excited, which is in itself 
pleasing. It is pretty much the same with the spec- 
tator of a tragedy. And, if the sympathy is the more 
pleasing, it is because the actions are so much the 
more calculated to entrap the attention, and the object 
so much the more worthy. The pleasure is heightened 
also in both instances by a kind of intuitive recollec- 
tion, which never forsakes the spectator, that no bad 
consequences will result to him from the action he is 
surveying. The recollection is the more predominant 
to the spectator of a tragedy, as it is impossible in any 
case totally to banish from his memory that the scenes 
are fictitious and illusive. In real life we always advert 
to futurity, and endeavour to draw inferences of the 
probable consequences ; but the moment we take off 
our minds from what is passing on the stage to reason- 
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ings thereupon, the illusion is dispelled, and it again 
recurs that it is all fiction. 

If we compare the degrees of pleasure we derive 
from the perusal of a novel, and the representation of 
a tragedy, we shall observe a wonderful disparity. In 
both we feel an interest, in both sympathy is excited. 
But in the one, things are merely related to us as hav- 
ing passed, which it is not attempted to persuade us 
ever did in reality happen, and from which, therefore, 
we never can deceive ourselves into the idea that any 
consequence whatever will result; in the other, on the 
contrary, the actions themselves pass before our eyes ; 
we are not tempted to ask ourselves whether they did 
ever happen : we see them happen, we are the witnesses 
of them ; and were it not for the meliorating circum- 
stances before mentioned, the sympathy would become 
so powerful as to be in the highest degree painful. 

In tragedy, therefore, everything which can strength- 
en the illusion should be introduced, for there are a 
thousand drawbacks on the effect, which it is impossible 
to remove, and which have always so great a force, as to 
put it out of the power of the poet to excite sympathy 
in a too painful degree. Every thing that is improba- 
ble, every thing which is out of the common course of 
nature, should, for this reason, be avoided, as nothing 
will so forcibly remind the spectator of the unrealness 
of the illusion. 

It is a mistaken idea, that we sympathize sooner with 
the distresses of kings and illustrious personages, than 
with those of common life. Men are, in fact, more in- 
clined to commiserate the sufferings of their equals, 
than of those whom they cannot but regard rather with 
awe than pity, as superior beings, and to take an in- 
terest in incidents which might have happened to them- 


selves sooner than in those remote from their own rank 
and habits. It is, for this reason that JEschylus cen- 
sures Euripides for introducing his kings in rags, as if 
they were more to be compassionated than other men: 

TIgZrov fxh rovs @cto-i\£vovra<; fa,ma.y,'7tia-)^v, I'v h Ixeeivoi 
To~g av&gwTroj? <pahovv eTvai. 

Some will, perhaps, imagine, that it is in the power 
of the poet to excite our sympathy in too powerful a 
degree, because, at the representation of certain scenes, 
the spectators are frequently affected so as to make 
them shriek out with terror. But this is not sympathy ; 
it is horror, it is disgust, and is only witnessed when 
some act is committed on the stage so cruel and bloody, 
as to make it impossible to contemplate it, even in idea, 
without horror. 

Nee pueros coram populo Medea trucidet, 
Aut humana^palam coquat exta nefarius Atreus. 

Hor. Ays Poet. I. 185. 

It is for this reason, also, that many fine German 
dramas cannot be brought on the English stage, such 
as the Robbers of Schiller, and the Adelaide of Wulfin- 
gen, by Kotzebue : they are too horrible to be read 
without violent emotions, and Horace will tell you what 
an immense difference there is in point of effect be- 
tween a relation and a representation : 

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem, 

Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quae 

Ipse sibi tradit spectator. Ars Poet. I. 180. 

I shall conclude these desultory remarks, strung to- 
gether at random, without order or connexion, by ob- 
serving what little foundation there is for the general 
outcry in the literary world, against the prevalence of 
German dramas on our stage. Did they not possess 
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uncommon merit, they would not meet with such gene- 
ral approbation. Fashion has but a partial influence, 
but they have drawn tears from an audience in a barn 
as well as in a theatre royal ; they have been welcomed 
with plaudits in every little market-town in the three 
kingdoms, as well as in the metropolis. Nature speaks 
but one language ; she is alike intelligible to the pea- 
sant and the man of letters, the tradesman and the 
man of fashion. While the Muse of Germany shall 
continue to produce such plays as the Stranger and 
Lovers' Vows,* who will not rejoice that translation is 
able to naturalize her efforts in our language? 


(No. I.) 
There is a mood 

(I sing not to the vacant and the young), 

There is a kindly mood of Melancholy, 

That wings the soul and points her to the skies. — Dyer. 

Philosophers have divested themselves of their natu- 
ral apathy, and poets have risen above themselves, in 
descanting on the pleasures of Melancholy. There is 
no mind so gross, no understanding so uncultivated, 
as to be incapable, at certain moments, and amid cer- 
tain combinations, of feeling that sublime influence 
upon the spirits which steals the soul from the petty 
anxieties of the world, 

' And fits it to hold converse with the gods.' 
I must confess, if such there be who never felt the 

* I speak of these plays only as adapted to our stage by the ele- 
gant pens of Mr. Thompson, and Mrs. Inchbald. 


divine abstraction, I envy them not their insensibility. 
For my own part, it is from the indulgence of this 
soothing power that 1 derive the most exquisite of gra- 
tifications ; at the calm hour of moonlight, amid all 
the sublime serenity, the dead stillness of the night ; 
or when the howling storm rages in the heavens, the 
rain pelts on my roof, and the winds whistle through 
the crannies of my apartment, I feel the divine mood 
of melancholy upon me ; I imagine myself placed upon 
an eminence, above the crowds who pant below in the 
dusty tracks of wealth and honour. The black cata- 
logue of crimes and of vice; the sad tissue of wretch- 
edness and woe, passes in review before me, and I look 
down upon man with an eye of pity and commiseration. 
Though the scenes which I survey be mournful, and 
the ideas they excite equally sombre ; though the tears 
gush as I contemplate them, and my heart feels heavy 
with the sorrowful emotions which they inspire; yet 
are they not unaccompanied with sensations of the 
purest and most ecstatic bliss. 

It is to the spectator alone that Melancholy is for- 
bidding; in herself she is soft and interesting, and 
capable of affording pure and unalloyed delight. Ask 
the lover why he muses by the side of the purling brook, 
or plunges into the deep gloom of the forest ? Ask the 
unfortunate why he seeks the still shades of solitude ? 
or the man who feels the pangs of disappointed ambi- 
tion, why he retires into the silent walks of seclusion?, 
and he will tell you that he derives a pleasure there- 
from, which nothing else can impart. It is the delight 
of Melancholy ; but the melancholy of these beings is 
as far removed from that of the philosopher, as are the 
narrow and contracted complaints of selfishness from 
the mournful regrets of expansive philanthropy; as are 


the desponding intervals of insanity from the occasional 
depressions of benevolent sensibility. 

The man who has attained that calm equanimity 
which qualifies him to look down upon the petty evils 
of life with indifference ; who can so far conquer the 
weakness of nature, as to consider the sufferings of the 
individual of little moment, when put in competition 
with the welfare of the community, is alone the true 
philosopher. His melancholy is not excited by the re- 
trospect of his own misfortunes ; it has its rise from the 
contemplation of the miseries incident to life, and the 
evils which obtrude themselves upon society, and in- 
terrupt the harmony of nature. It would be arrogating 
too much merit to myself, to assert that I have a just 
claim to the title of a philosopher, as it is here defined; 
or to say that the speculations of my melancholy hours 
are equally disinterested : be this as it may, I have de- 
termined to present my solitary effusions to the pub- 
lic ; they will at least have the merit of novelty to re- 
commend them, and may possibly, in some measure, 
be instrumental in the melioration of the human heart, 
or the correction of false prepossessions. This is the 
height of my ambition ; this once attained, and my end 
will be fully accomplished. One thing I can safely 
promise, though far from being the coinages of a heart 
at ease, they will contain neither the querulous cap- 
tiousness of misfortune, nor the bitter taunts of misan- 
thropy. Society is a chain of which I am merely a 
link ; all men are my associates in error, and though 
some may have gone farther in the ways of guilt than 
myself, yet it is not in me to sit in judgment upon them; 
it is mine to treat them rather in pity than in anger, to 
lament their crimes, and to weep over their sufferings. 
As these papers will be the amusement of those hours 


of relaxation, when the mind recedes from the vexa- 
tions of business, and sinks into itself for a moment of 
solitary ease, rather than the efforts of literary leisure, 
the reader will not expect to find in them unusual ele- 
gance of language, or studied propriety of style. In 
the short and necessary intervals of cessation from the 
anxieties of an irksome employment, one finds little 
time to be solicitous about expression. If, therefore, 
the fervour of a glowing mind expresses itself in too 
warm and luxuriant a manner for the cold ear of dull 
propriety, let the fastidious critic find a selfish pleasure 
in descrying it. To criticism melancholy is indifferent 
If learning cannot be better employed than in declaim- 
ing against the defects, while it is insensible to the 
beauties of a performance, well may we exclaim with 
the poet, 

i2 BVfA.£Vtj? ayvoia, oo$ ay.a)fxo? rit; si 

Orav 01 <rv ov s%aig ovrwg <r ovx ayvoet. W. 

(No. II.) 
Bat (wel-a-day !) who loves the Muses now ? 
Or belpes the climber of the sacred hyll ? 
None leane to them ; but strive to disalow 
All heavenly dewes the goddesses distill. 

Wm. Brown's Sheplieard's Pipe, Eg. 5. 

It is a melancholy reflection, and a reflection which 
often sinks heavily on my soul, that the Sons of Genius 
generally seem predestined to encounter the r*udest 
storms of adversity, to struggle, unnoticed, with poverty 
and misfortune. The annals of the world present us 
with many corroborations of this remark ; and, alas ! 
who can tell how many unhappy beings, who might 
have shone with distinguished lustre among the stars 
which illumine our hemisphere, may have sunk unknown 
beneath the pressure of untoward circumstances; who 


knows how many may have shrunk, with all the exqui- 
site sensibility of genius, from the rude and riotous 
discord of the world, into the peaceful slumbers of 
death. Among the number of those whose talents 
might have elevated them to the first rank of eminence, 
but who have been overwhelmed with the accumulated 
ills of poverty and misfortune, I do not hesitate to rank 
a young man whom I once accounted it my greatest 
happiness to be able to call my friend. 

Charles Wanely was the only son of an humble 
village rector, who just lived to give him a liberal edu- 
cation, and then left him, unprovided for and unpro- 
tected, to struggle through the world as well as he 
could. With a heart glowing with the enthusiasm of 
poetry and romance, with a sensibility the most exqui- 
site, and with an indignant pride, which swelled in his 
veins, and told him he was a man, my friend found 
himself cast upon the wide world at the age of sixteen, 
an adventurer, without fortune and without connexion. 
As his independent spirit could not brook the idea of 
being a burden to those whom his father had taught 
him to consider only as allied by blood, and not by 
affection, he looked about him for a situation which 
could ensure to him, by his own exertions, an honour- 
able competence. It was not long before such a situa- 
tion offered, and Charles precipitately articled himself 
to an attorney, without giving himself time to consult 
his own inclinations, or the disposition of his master. 
The transition from Sophocles and Euripides, Theocri- 
tus and Ovid, to Finche and Wood, Coke and Wynne, 
was striking and difficult; but Charles applied him- 
self with his wonted ardour to his new study, as con- 
sidering it not only his interest, but his duty so to do. 
It was not long, however, before he discovered that he 


disliked the law, that he disliked his situation, and that 
he despised his master. The fact was, my friend had 
many mortifications to endure, which his haughty soul 
could ill brook. The attorney to whom he was arti- 
cled, was one of those narrow-minded beings who con- 
sider wealth as alone entitled to respect. He had dis- 
covered that his clerk was very poor, and very desti- 
tute of friends, and thence he very naturally concluded 
that he might insult him with impunity. It appears, 
however, that he was mistaken in his calculations. I 
one night remarked that my friend was unusually 
thoughtful. I ventured to ask him whether he had met 
with any thing particular to ruffle his spirits. He looked 
at me for some moments significantly, then, as if roused 
to fury by the recollection — i I have/ said he vehe- 
mently, ' I have, I have. He has insulted me grossly, 
and I will bear it no longer.' He now walked up and 
down with visible emotion. — Presently he sat down. — 
He seemed more composed. ' My friend/ said he, ' I 
have endured much from this man. I conceived it my 
duty to forbear, but I have forborne until forbearance 
is blamable, and, by the Almighty, I will never again 
endure what I have endured this day. But not only 
this man ; every one thinks he may treat me with con- 
tumely, because I am poor and friendless. But I am 
a man, and will no longer tamely submit to be the sport 
of fools, and the foot-ball of caprice. In this spot of 
earth, though it gave me birth, I can never taste of 
ease. Here I must be miserable. The principal end 
of man is to arrive at happiness. Here I can never at- 
tain it ; and here, therefore, I will no longer remain. 
My obligations to the rascal, who calls himself my 
master, are cancelled by his abuse of the authority I 
rashly placed in his hands. I have no relations to bind 


me to this particular place.' The tears started in his 
eyes as he spoke. * I have no tender ties to bid me 
stay, and why do I stay? The world is all before me. 
My inclination leads me to travel ; I will pursue that 
inclination ; and, perhaps, in a strange land I may find 
that repose which is denied to me in the place of my 
birth. My finances, it is true, are ill able to support 
the expenses of travelling : but what then, — Goldsmith, 
my friend,' with rising enthusiasm, ' Goldsmith tra- 
versed Europe on foot, and I am as hardy as Gold- 
smith. Yes, I will go, and perhaps, ere long, I may 
sit me down on some towering mountain, and exclaim 
with him, while a hundred realms lie in perspective 
before me, 

' Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine.' 

It was in vain I entreated him to reflect maturely, 
ere he took so bold a step ; he was deaf to my impor- 
tunities, and the next morning I received a letter in- 
forming me of his departure. He was observed about 
sun-rise, sitting on the stile, at the top of an eminence 
which commanded a prospect of the surrounding coun- 
try, pensively looking towards the village. 1 could 
divine his emotions, on thus casting probably a last look 
on his native place. The neat white parsonage-house, 
with the honeysuckle mantling on its wall, I knew would 
receive his last glance ; and the image of his father 
would present itself to his mind, with a melancholy 
pleasure, as he was thus hastening, a solitary individual, 
to plunge himself into the crowds of the world, deprived 
of that fostering hand which would otherwise have been 
his support and guide. 

From this period Charles Wanely was never heard 
of it L -, and, as his few relations cared little about 


him, in a short time it was almost forgotten that such a 
being* had ever been in existence. 

About five years had elapsed from this period, when 
my occasions led me to the continent. I will confess 
I was not without a romantic hope, that I might again 
meet with my lost friend ; and that often, with that idea, 
I scrutinized the features of the passengers. One fine 
moonlight night, as I was strolling down the grand 
Italian Strada di Toledo, at Naples, I observed a crowd 
assembled round a man, who, with impassioned ges- 
tures, seemed to be vehemently declaiming to the mul- 
titude. It was one of the Improvisatori, who recite ex- 
tempore verses in the streets of Naples, for what money 
they can collect from the hearers. I stopped to listen 
to the man's metrical romance, and had remained in 
the attitude of attention some time, when happening to 
turn round, I beheld a person very shabbily dressed, 
steadfastly gazing at me. The moon shone full in his 
face. I thought his features were familiar to me. He 
was pale and emaciated, and his countenance bore 
marks of the deepest dejection. Yet, amidst all these 
changes, I thought I recognised Charles Wanely. I 
stood stupified with surprise. My senses nearly failed 
me. On recovering myself, I looked again, but he had 
left the spot the moment he found himself observed. 
I darted through the crowd, and ran every way which 
I thought he could have gone, but it was all to no pur- 
pose. Nobody knew him. Nobody had even seen 
such a person. The two following days I renewed my 
inquiries, and at last discovered the lodgings where a 
man of his description had resided. But he had left 
Naples the morning after his form had struck my eyes. 
I found he gained a subsistence by drawing rude figures 
in chalks, and vending them among the peasantry. I 
2 L 


could no longer doubt it was my friend, and imme- 
diately perceived that bis haugbty spirit could not bear 
to be recognised in such degrading circumstances, by 
one who had known him in better days. Lamenting 
the misguided notions which had thus again thrown 
him from me, I left Naples, now grown hateful to my 
sight, and embarked for England. It is now nearly 
twenty years since this rencounter, during which period 
he has not been heard of; and there can be little doubt 
that this unfortunate young man has found, in some 
remote corner of the continent, an obscure and an un- 
lamented grave. 

Thus, those talents which were formed to do honour 
to human nature, and to the country which gave them 
birth, have been nipped in the bud by the frosts of po- 
verty and scorn, and their unhappy possessor lies in an 
unknown and nameless tomb, who might, under hap- 
pier circumstances, have risen to the highest pinnacle 
of ambition and renown. * W. 

(No. III.) 
Few know that elegance of soul refined, 
Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy 
From melancholy's scenes, than the dull pride 
Of tasteless splendour and magnificence 
Can e'er afford. Warton's Melancholy. 

In one of my midnight rambles down the side of the 
Trent, the river which waters the place of my nativity, 
as I was musing on the various evils which darken the 
life of man, and which have their rise in the malevolence 
and ill-nature of his fellows, the sound of a flute from 
an adjoining copse attracted my attention. The tune 
it played was mournful, yet soothing. It was suited to 
the solemnity of the hour. As the distant notes came 
wafted at intervals on my ear, now with gradual swell, 


then dying away on the silence of the night, I felt the 
tide of indignation subside within me, and give place 
to the solemn calm of repose. I listened for some time 
in breathless ravishment. The strain ceased, yet the 
sounds still vibrated on my heart, and the visions of 
bliss which they excited, still glowed on my imagina- 
tion. I was then standing in one of my favourite re- 
treats. It was a little alcove, overshadowed with wil- 
lows, and a mossy seat at the back invited to rest. I 
laid myself listlessly on the bank. The Trent murmured 
softly at my feet, and the willows sighed as they waved 
over my head. It was the holy moment of repose, and 
I soon sunk into a deep sleep. The operations of fancy, 
in a slumber, inducedby a combination of circumstances 
so powerful and uncommon, could not fail to be wild 
and romantic in the extreme. Methought I found my- 
self in an extensive area, filled with an immense con- 
course of people. At one end was a throne of adamant, 
on which sat a female, in whose aspect I immediately 
recognised a divinity. She was clad in a garb of azure ; 
on her forehead she bore a sun, whose splendour the 
eyes of many were unable to bear, and whose rays il- 
lumined the whole space, and penetrated into the deep- 
est recesses of darkness. The aspect of the goddess 
at a distance was forbidding, but on a nearer approach, 
it was mild and engaging. Her eyes were blue and 
piercing, and there was a fascination in her smile which 
charmed as if by enchantment. The air of intelligence 
which beamed in her look, made the beholder shrink 
into himself with the consciousness of inferiority; yet 
the affability of her deportment, and the simplicity and 
gentleness of her manners, soon reassured him, while 
the bewitching softness which she could at times as- 
sume, won his permanent esteem. On inquiry of a 
2 l2 


bystander who it was that sat on the throne, and what 
was the occasion of so uncommon an assembly, he in- 
formed me that it was the Goddess of Wisdom, who 
had at last succeeded in regaining the dominion of the 
earth, which Folly had so long usurped. That she sat 
there in her judicial capacity, in order to try the merits 
of many who were supposed to be the secret emissaries 
of Folly. In this way I understood Envy and Male- 
volence had been sentenced to perpetual banishment, 
though several of their adherents yet remained among 
men, whose minds were too gross to be irradiated with 
the light of Wisdom. One trial I understood was just 
ended, and another supposed delinquent was about to 
be put to the bar. With much curiosity 1 hurried for- 
ward to survey the figure which now approached. She 
was habited in black, and veiled to the waist. Her pace 
was solemn and majestic, yet in every movement was a 
winning gracefulness. As she approached to the bar, 
I got a nearer view of her, when, what was my asto- 
nishment to recognise in her the person of my favourite 
goddess Melancholy ! Amazed that she, whom I had 
always looked upon as the sister and companion of 
Wisdom, should be brought to trial as an emissary and 
an adherent of Folly, I waited in mute impatience for 
the accusation which could be framed against her. — 
On looking towards the centre of the area, I was much 
surprised to see a bustling little Cit of my acquaintance, 
who, by his hemming and clearing, I concluded was 
going to make the charge. As he was a self-important 
little fellow, full of consequence and business, and to- 
tally incapable of all the finer emotions of the soul, I 
could not conceive what ground of complaint he could 
have against Melancholy, who, I was persuaded, would 
never have deigned to take up her residence for a mo- 


ment in his breast. When I recollected, however, that 
he had some sparks of ambition in his composition, and 
that he was an envious, carping little mortal, who had 
formed the design of shouldering himself into notice by 
decrying the defects of others, while he was insensible 
to his own, my amazement and my apprehensions va- 
nished, as I perceived he only wanted to make a dis- 
play of his own talent, in doing which I did not fear 
his making himself sufficiently ridiculous. 

After a good deal of irrelevant circumlocution, he 
boldly began the accusation of Melancholy. I shall 
not dwell upon many absurd and many invidious parts 
of his speech, nor upon the many blunders in the mis- 
application of words, such as ' deduce fox ■ detract,' and 
others of a similar nature, which my poor friend com- 
mitted in the course of his harangue, but shall only 
dwell upon the material parts of the charge. 

He represented the prisoner as the offspring of Idle- 
ness and Discontent, who was at all times a sulky, sullen, 
and * eminently useless' member of the community, and 
not unfrequently a very dangerous one. He declared 
it to be his opinion, that in case she were to be suffered 
to prevail, mankind would soon become * too idle to go, 
and would all lie down and perish through indolence, 
or through forgetting that sustenance was necessary for 
the preservation of existence ; and concluded with paint- 
ing the horrors which would attend such a depopulation 
of the earth, in such colours as made many weak minds 
regard the goddess with fear and abhorrence. 

Having concluded, the accused was called upon for 
her defence. She immediately, with a graceful ges- 
ture, lifted up the veil which concealed her face, and 
discovered a countenance so soft, so lovely, and so 
sweetly expressive, as to strike the beholders with in- 
2 l 3 


voluntary admiration, and which at one glance over- 
turned all the flimsy sophistry of my poor friend the 
citizen ; and when the silver tones of her voice were 
heard, the murmurs, which until then had continually 
arisen from the crowd, were hushed to a dead still, and 
the whole multitude stood transfixed in breathless atten- 
tion. As near as I can recollect, these were the words 
in which she addressed herself to the throne of Wisdom. 
1 1 shall not deign to give a direct answer to the 'vari- 
ous insinuatiojis which have been thrown out against me by 
my accuser. Let it suffice that I declare my true his- 
tory, in opposition to that which has been so artfully 
fabricated to my disadvantage. In that early age of 
the world, when mankind followed the peaceful avo- 
cations of a pastoral life only, and contentment and 
harmony reigned in every vale, I was not known among 
men; but when, in process of time, Ambition and Vice, 
with their attendant evils, were sent down as a scourge 
to the human race, I made my appearance. I am the 
offspring of Misfortune and Virtue, and was sent by 
Heaven to teach my parents how to support their af- 
flictions with magnanimity. As I grew up, I became 
the intimate friend of the wisest among men. I was 
the bosom friend of Plato, and other illustrious sages 
of antiquity, and was then often known by the name of 
Philosophy, though, in present times, when that title is 
usurped by mere makers of experiments, and inventors 
of blacking-cakes, I am only known by the appellation 
of Melancholy. So far from being of a discontented dis- 
position, my very essence is pious and resigned content- 
ment. I teach my votaries to support every vicissitude 
of fortune with calmness and fortitude. It is mine to 
subdue the stormy propensities of passion and vice, to 
foster and encourage the principles of benevolence and 


philanthropy, and to cherish and bring to perfection the 
seeds of virtue and wisdom. Though feared and hated 
by those who, like my accuser, are ignorant of my na- 
ture, I am courted and cherished by all the truly wise, 
the good, and the great; the poet wooes me as the god- 
dess of inspiration ; the true philosopher acknowledges 
himself indebted to me for his most expansive views of 
human nature ; the good man owes to me that hatred 
of the wrong and love of the right, and that disdain for 
the consequences which may result from the perform- 
ance of his duties, which keeps him good; and the re- 
ligious flies to me for the only clear and unencumbered 
view of the attributes and perfections of the Deity. So 
far from being idle, my mind is ever on the wing in the 
regions of fancy, or that true philosophy which opens 
the book of human nature, and raises the soul above 
the evils incident to life. If I am useless, in the same 
degree were Plato and Socrates, Locke and Paley, use- 
less; it is true that my immediate influence is confined, 
but its effects are disseminated by means of literature 
over every age and nation ; and mankind, in every ge- 
neration, and in every clime, may look to me as their 
remote illuminator, the original spring of the principal 
intellectual benefits they possess. But as there is no 
good without its attendant evil, so I have an elder sister, 
called Frenzy, for whom I have often been mistaken, 
who sometimes follows close on my steps, and to her I 
owe much of the obloquy which is attached to my name: 
though the puerile accusation which has just been 
brought against me turns on points which apply more 
exclusively to myself/ 

She ceased, and a dead pause ensued. The multi- 
tude seemed struck with the fascination of her utterance 
and gesture, and the sounds of her voice still seemed 


to vibrate on every ear. The attention of the assembly, 
however, was soon recalled to the accuser, and their 
indignation at his baseness rose to such a height as to 
threaten general tumult, when the Goddess of Wisdom 
arose, and, waving her hand for silence, beckoned the 
prisoner to her, placed her on her right hand, and, with 
a sweet smile, acknowledged her for her old companion 
and friend. She then turned to the accuser, with a frown 
of severity so terrible, that I involuntarily started with 
terror from my poor misguided friend, and with the vio- 
lence of the start I awoke, and, instead of the throne 
of the Goddess of Wisdom, and the vast assembly of 
people, beheld the first rays of the morning peeping 
over the eastern cloud ; and, instead of the loud mur- 
murs of the incensed multitude, heard nothing but the 
soft gurgling of the river at my feet, and the rustling 
wing of the sky-lark, who was now beginning his first 
matin-song. W. 

(No. IV. 

ixoTrna-aiAivoq svgurKov ovbapwq av ctXXeo; ot> rog ^lav^afxivog. — Isocr. 

The world has often heard of fortune-hunters, legacy- 
hunters, popularity-hunters, and hunters of various de- 
scriptions — one diversity, however, of this very exten- 
sive species has hitherto eluded public animadversion; 
I allude to the class of friend-hunters — men who make 
it the business of their lives to acquire friends, in the 
hope, through their influence, to arrive at some desir- 
able point of ambitious eminence. Of all the mortifi- 
cations and anxieties to which mankind voluntarily 
subject themselves, from the expectation of future be- 
nefit, there are, perhaps, none more galling, none more 
insupportable, than those attendant on friend-making. 
Shew a man that you court his society, and it is a signal 


for him to treat you with neglect and contumely. Hu- 
mour his passions, and he despises you as a sycophant. 
Pay implicit deference to his opinions, and he laughs 
at you for your folly. In all he views you with con- 
tempt, as the creature of his will, and the slave of his 
caprice. I remember I once solicited the acquaintance 
and coveted the friendship of one man, and, thank God, 
I can yet say, (and I hope on my death-bed I shall be 
able to say the same) of only one man, 

Germanicus was a character of considerable eminence 
in the literary world. He had the reputation not only 
of an enlightened understanding and refined taste, but 
of openness of heart and goodness of disposition. His 
name always carried with it that weight and authority 
which are due to learning and genius in every situation. 
His manners were polished, and his conversation ele- 
gant. In short, he possessed every qualification which 
could render him an enviable addition to the circle of 
every man's friends. With such a character, as I was 
then very young. I could not fail to feel an ambition of 
becoming acquainted, when the opportunity offered, and 
in a short time we were upon terms of familiarity. To 
ripen this familiarity into friendship, as far as the most 
awkward diffidence would permit, was my strenuous 
endeavour. If his opinions contradicted mine, I imme- 
diately, without reasoning on the subject, conceded the 
point to him as a matter of course that he must be right, 
and by consequence that I must be wrong. Did he 
utter a witticism, I was sure to laugh ; and if he looked 
grave, though nobody could tell why, it was mine to 
groan. By thus conforming myself to his humour, I 
flattered myself I was making some progress in his good 
graces, but I was soon undeceived. A man seldom cares 
much for that which costs him no pains to procure. 


Whether Germanicus found me a troublesome visitor, 
or whether he was really displeased with something I 
had unwittingly said or done, certain it is, that when I 
met him one day, in company with persons of apparent 
figure, he had lost all recollection of my features. I 
called upon him, but Germanicus was not at home. 
Again and again I gave a hesitating knock at the great 
man's door— all was to no purpose. He was still not 
at home. The sly meaning, however, which was couched 
in the sneer of the servant the last time that, half 
ashamed of my errand, I made my inquiries at his house, 
convinced me of what I ought to have known before, 
that Germanicus was at home to all the world save me. 
I believe, with all my seeming humility, I am a con- 
founded proud fellow at bottom ; my rage at this dis- 
covery, therefore, may be better conceived than de- 
scribed. Ten thousand curses did I imprecate on the 
foolish vanity which led me to solicit the friendship of 
my superiors, and again and again did I vow down 
eternal vengeance on my head, if I ever more conde- 
scended thus to court the acquaintance of man. To 
this resolution I believe I shall ever adhere. If I am 
destined to make any progress in the world, it will be 
by my own individual exertions. As I elbow my way 
through the crowded vale of life, I will never, in any 
emergency, call on my selfish neighbour for assistance. 
If my strength give way beneath the pressure of ca- 
lamity, I shall sink without his whine of hypocritical 
condolence ; and if I do sink, let him kick me into a 
ditch, and go about his business. I asked not his as- 
sistance while living, it will be of no service to me when 

Believe me, reader, whoever thou mayest be, there 
are few among mortals, whose friendship, when ac- 


quired, will repay thee for the meanness of solicitation. 
If a man voluntarily holds out his hand to thee, take it 
with caution. If thou find him honest, be not back- 
ward to receive his proffered assistance, and be anxious, 
when occasion shall require, to yield to him thine own. 
A real friend is the most valuable blessing a man can 
possess, and, mark me, it is by far the most rare. It is 
a black swan. But, whatever thou may est do, solicit 
not friendship. If thou art young, and would make 
thy way in the world, bind thyself a seven years' ap- 
prentice to a city tallow-chandler, and thou mayest in 
time come to be lord-mayor. Many people have made 
their fortunes at a tailor's board. Periwig-makers 
have been known to buy their country-seats, and 
bellows-menders have started their curricles ; but sel- 
dom, very seldom, has the man who placed his de- 
pendence on the friendship of his fellow-men arrived 
at even the shadow of the honours to which, through 
that medium, he aspired. Nay, even if thou shouldst 
find a friend ready to lend thee a helping hand, the 
moment, by his assistance, thou hast gained some little 
eminence, he will be the first to hurl thee down to thy 
primitive, and now, perhaps, irremediable obscurity. 

Yet I see no more reason for complaint on the 
ground of the fallacy of human friendship, than I do 
for any other ordonnance of nature, which may appear 
to run counter to our happiness. Man is naturally a 
selfish creature, and it is only by the aid of philosophy 
that he can so far conquer the defects of his being, as to 
be capable of disinterested friendship. Who, then, can 
expect to find that benign disposition, which manifests 
itself in acts of disinterested benevolence and sponta- 
neous affection, a common visitor ? Who can preach 
philosophy to the mob ? 

The recluse, who does not easily assimilate with the 


herd of mankind, and whose manners with difficulty 
bend to the peculiarities of others, is not likely to have 
many real friends. His enjoyments, therefore, must be 
solitary, lone, and melancholy. His only friend is 
himself. As he sits immersed in reverie by his mid- 
night fire, and hears without the wild gusts of wind 
fitfully careering over the plain, he listens sadly atten- 
tive ; and as the varied intonations of the howling blast 
articulate to his enthusiastic ear, he converses with the 
spirits of the departed, while, between each dreary 
pause of the storm, he holds solitary communion with 
himself. Such is the social intercourse of the recluse; 
yet he frequently feels the soft consolation of friend- 
ship. A heart formed for the gentler emotions of the 
soul often feels as strong an interest for what are 
called brutes, as most bipeds affect to feel for each 
other. Montaigne had his cat ; I have read of a man 
whose only friend was a large spider ; and Trenck, in 
his dungeon, would sooner have lost his right hand 
than the poor little mouse, which, grown confident with 
indulgence, used to beguile the tedious hours of im- 
prisonment with its gambols. For my own part, I be- 
lieve my dog, who, at this moment, seated on his hinder 
legs, is wistfully surveying me, as if he was conscious 
of all that is passing in my mind : — my dog, I say, is 
as sincere, and, whatever the world may say, nearly 
as dear a friend as any I possess ; and when I shall 
receive that summons which may not now be far distant, 
he will whine a funeral requiem over my grave, more 
piteously than all the hired mourners in Christendom. 
Well, well, poor Bob has had a kind master of me, 
and, for my own part, I verily believe there are few 
things on this earth I shall leave with more regret than 
this faithful companion of the happy hours of my in- 
fancy. W. 


(No. V.) 

Un sonnet sans defaut vaut seul un long poeme, 
Mais en vain mille auteurs y pensent arriver : 

A peine • 

peut-on admirer deux ou trois eutre mille. 


There is no species of poetry which is better adapted 
to the taste of a melancholy man than the sonnet. 
While its brevity precludes the possibility of its becom- 
ing tiresome, and its full and expected close accords 
well with his dejected, and perhaps somewhat languid 
tone of mind, its elegiac delicacy and querimonious 
plaintiveness come in pleasing consonance with his 

This elegant little poem has met with a peculiar fate 
in this country : half a century ago it was regarded as 
utterly repugnant to the nature of our language, while 
at present it is the popular vehicle of the most admired 
sentiments of our best living poets. This remarkable 
mutation in the opinions of our countrymen, may, how- 
ever, be accounted for on plain and common principles. 
The earlier English sonnetteers confined themselves 
in general too strictly to the Italian model, as well in 
the disposition of the rhymes, as in the cast of the ideas. 
A sonnet with them was only another word for some 
metaphysical conceit of clumsy antithesis, contained in 
fourteen harsh lines, full of obscure inversions and ill- 
managed expletives. They bound themselves down 
to apattern which was in itself faulty, and they met with 
the common fate of servile imitators, in retaining all 
the defects of the original, while they suffered the 
beauties to escape in the process. Their sonnets are 
like copies of a bad picture ; however accurately copied, 
2 M 


they are still bad. Our contemporaries, on the contrary, 
have given scope to their genius in the sonnet without 
restraint, sometimes even growing licentious in their 
liberty, setting at defiance those rules which form its 
distinguishing peculiarity, and, under the name of son- 
net, soaring or falling into ode or elegy. Their com- 
positions, of course, are impressed with all those ex- 
cellencies which would have marked their respective 
productions in any similar walk of poetry. 

It has never been disputed that the sonnet first ar- 
rived at celebrity in the Italian ; a language which, as 
it abounds in a musical similarity of terminations, is 
more eminently qualified to give ease and eloquence 
to the legitimate sonnet, restricted as it is to stated and 
frequently-recurring rhymes of the same class. As to 
the inventors of this little structure of verse, they are 
involved in impenetrable obscurity. Some authors 
have ascribed it singly to Guitone D'Arezzo, an Italian 
poet of the thirteenth century, but they have no sort of 
authority to adduce in support of their assertions. 
Arguing upon probabilities, with some slight coinci- 
dental corroborations, I should be inclined to maintain 
that its origin maybe referred to an earlier period : that 
it may be looked for among the Provencals, who left 
scarcely any combination of metrical sounds unat- 
tempted ; and who, delighting as they did in sound 
and jingle, might very possibly strike out this harmo- 
nious stanza of fourteen lines. Be this as it may, 
Dante and Petrarch were the first poets who rendered 
it popular, and to Dante and Petrarch therefore we 
must resort for its required rules. 

In an ingenious paper of Dr. Drake's ' Literary 
Hours,' a book which I have read again and again with 
undiminished pleasure, the merits of the various Eng- 


lish writers in this delicate mode of composition are 
appreciated with much justice and discrimination. His 
veneration for Milton, however, has, if I may venture 
to oppose my judgment to his, carried him too far in 
praise of his sonnets. Those to the Nightingale and to 
Mr. Lawrence are, I think, alone entitled to the praise 
of mediocrity, and, if my memory fail me not, my 
opinion is sanctioned by the testimony of our late illus- 
trious biographer of the poets. 

The sonnets of Drummond are characterized as ex- 
quisite. It is somewhat strange, if this description be 
just, that they should so long have sunk into utter ob- 
livion, to be revived only by a species of black-letter 
mania, which prevailed during the latter half of the 
eighteenth century, and of which some vestiges yet 
remain; the more especially as Dr. Johnson, to whom 
they could scarcely be unknown, tells us, that * The fa- 
bric of the sonnet has never succeeded in our language/ 
For my own part I can say nothing of them. I have 
long sought a copy of Drummond's works, and I have 
sought it in vain ; but from specimens which I have 
casually met with, in quotations, I am forcibly inclined 
to favour the idea, that, as they possess natural and 
pathetic sentiments, clothed in tolerably harmonious 
language, they are entitled to the praise which has 
been so liberally bestowed upon them. 

Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella consists of 
a number of sonnets, which have been unaccountably 
passed over by Dr. Drake, and all our other critics who 
have written on this subject. Many of them are emi- 
nently beautiful. The works of this neglected poet 
may occupy a future number of my lucubrations. 

Excepting these two poets, I believe there is scarcely 
a writer who has arrived at any degree of excellence 
2 m 2 


in the sonnet, until of late years, when our vernacular 
bards have raised it to a degree of eminence and dig- 
nity among the various kinds of poetical composition, 
which seems almost incompatible with its very circum- 
scribed limits. 

Passing over the classical compositions of Warton, 
which are formed more on the model of the Greek epi- 
gram, or epitaph, than the Italian sonnet, Mr. Bowles 
and Charlotte Smith are the first modern writers who 
have met with distinguished success in the sonnet. 
Those of the former, in particular, are standards of 
excellence in this department. To much natural and 
accurate description, they unite a strain of the most 
exquisitely tender and delicate sentiment; and, with 
a nervous strength of diction, and a wild freedom of 
versification, they combine an euphonious melody, and 
consonant cadence, unequalled in the English language. 
While they possess, however, the superior merit of an 
original style, they are not unfrequently deformed by 
instances of that ambitious singularity which is but too 
frequently its concomitant. Of these the introduction 
of rhymes long since obsolete, is not the least striking. 
Though, in some cases, these revivals of antiquated 
phrase have a pleasing effect, yet they are oftentimes 
uncouth and repulsive. Mr. Bowles has almost always 
thrown aside the common rules of the sonnet; his 
pieces have no more claim to that specific denomina- 
tion, than that they are confined to fourteen lines. 
How far this deviation from established principle is 
justifiable, may be disputed : for if, on the one hand, 
it be alleged that the confinement to the stated repe- 
tition of rhymes, so distant and frequent, is a restraint 
which is not compensated by an adequate effect on the 
other, it must be conceded, that these little poems are 


no longer sonnets than while they conform to the rules 
of the sonnet, and that the moment they forsake them, 
they ought to resign the appellation. 

The name bears evident affinity to the Italian sonaire, 
1 to resound' — * sing around,' which originated in the La- 
tin sonans, — sounding, jingling, ringing: or, indeed, it 
may come immediately from the French sonner, to 
sound, or ring, in which language, it is observable, we 
first meet with the word sonnette, where it signifies a 
little bell, and sonnettier, a maker of little bells; and this 
derivation affords a presumption, almost, amounting to 
certainty, that the conjecture before advanced, that the 
sonnet originated with the Provencals, is well founded. 
It is somewhat strange that these contending deriva- 
tions have not been before observed, as they tend to 
settle a question, which, however intrinsically unim- 
portant, is curious, and has been much agitated. 

But, wherever the name originated, it evidently bears 
relation only to the peculiarity of a set of chiming and 
jingling terminations, and of course can no longer be 
applied with propriety where that peculiarity is not 

The single stanza of fourteen lines, properly varied 
in their correspondent closes, is, notwithstanding, so 
well adapted for the expression of any pathetic senti- 
ment, and is so pleasing and satisfactory to the ear 
when once accustomed to it, that our poetry would 
suffer a material loss were it to be disused through a 
rigid adherence to mere propriety of name. At the 
same time, our language does not supply a sufficiency 
of similar terminations to render the strict observance 
of its rules at all easy, or compatible with ease or ele- 
gance. The only question, therefore, is, whether the 
musical effect produced by the adherence to this diffi- 
2 m 3 


cult structure of verse overbalance the restraint it im- 
poses on the poet? and in case we decide in the nega- 
tive, whether we ought to preserve the denomination 
of sonnet, when we utterly renounce the very peculi- 
arities which procured it that cognomen? 

In the present enlightened age, I think it will not be 
disputed that mere jingle and sound ought invariably 
to be sacrificed to sentiment and expression. Musical 
effect is a very subordinate consideration; it is the 
gilding to the cornices of a Vitruvian edifice; the 
colouring to a shaded design of Michael Angelo. In 
its place, it adds to the effect of the whole ; but, when 
rendered a principal object of attention, it is ridiculous 
and disgusting. Rhyme is no necessary adjunct of 
true poetry. Southey's Thalaba is a fine poem, with 
no rhyme, and very little measure or metre ; and the 
production which is reduced to mere prose, by being 
deprived of its jingle, could never possess, in any state, 
the marks of inspiration. 

So far, therefore, I am of opinion that it is advisable 
to renounce the Italian fabric altogether. We have 
already sufficient restrictions laid upon us by the me- 
trical laws of our native tongue, and I do not see any 
reason, out of a blind regard for precedent, to tie our- 
selves to a difficult structure of verse, which probably 
originated with the Troubadours, or wandering bards 
of France and Normandy, or with a yet ruder race, one 
which is not productive of any rational effect, and which 
only pleases the ear by frequent repetition ; as men who 
have once had the greatest aversion to strong wines 
and spirituous liquors, are, by habit, at last brought 
to regard them as delicacies. 

In advancing this opinion, I am aware that I am op- 
posing myself to the declared sentiments of many indi- 


viduals whom I greatly respect and admire. Miss Se- 
ward (and Miss Seward is in herself a host) has, both 
theoretically and practically, defended the Italian struc- 
ture. Mr. Capel LofTt has likewise favoured the world 
with many sonnets, in which he shews his approval of 
the legitimate model by his adherence to its rules; and 
many of the beautiful poems of Mrs. Lofft, published 
in the Monthly Mirror, are likewise successfully formed 
by those rules. Much, however, as I admire these 
writers, and ample as is the credence I give to their 
critical discrimination, I cannot, on mature reflection, 
subscribe to their position of the expediency of adopt- 
ing this structure in our poetry ; and I attribute their 
success in it more to their individual powers, which 
would have surmounted much greater difficulties, than 
to the adaptability of this foreign fabric to our stubborn 
and intractable language. 

If the question, however, turn only on the propriety of 
giving to a poem a name which must be acknowledged to 
be entirely inappropriate, and to which it can have no 
sort of claim, I must confess that it is manifestly inde- 
fensible ; and we must then either pitch upon another 
appellation for our quatorzain, or banish it from our 
language ; a measure which every lover of true poetry 
must sincerely lament. 

(No. VI.) 

Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen, 

And waste its sweetness on the desert air. — Gray. 

Poetry is a blossom of very delicate growth ; it re- 
quires the maturing influence of vernal suns, and every 
encouragement of culture and attention, to bring it to 
its natural perfection. The pursuits of the mathemati- 
cian, or the mechanical genius, are such as require 


rather strength and insensibility of mind, than that ex- 
quisite and finely-wrought susceptibility, which inva- 
riably marks the temperament of the true poet ; and it 
is for this reason, that, while men of science have not 
unfrequently arisen from the abodes of poverty and la- 
bour, very few legitimate children of the Muse have 
ever emerged from the shades of hereditary obscurity. 
It is painful to reflect how many a bard now lies 
nameless and forgotten, in the narrow house, who, had 
he been born to competence and leisure, might have 
usurped the laurels from the most distinguished per- 
sonages in the temple of Fame. The very conscious- 
ness of merit itself often acts in direct opposition to a 
stimulus to exertion, by exciting that mournful indigna- 
tion at supposititious neglect, which urges a sullen con- 
cealment of talent, and drives its possessor to that mi- 
santhropic discontent which preys on the vitals, and 
soon produces untimely mortality. A sentiment like 
this has, no doubt, often actuated beings, who at- 
tracted notice, perhaps, while they lived, only by their 
singularity, and who were forgotten almost ere their 
parent earth had closed over their heads, — beings who 
lived but to mourn and to languish for what they were 
never destined to enjoy, and whose exalted endowments 
were buried with them in tljeir graves, by the want of 
a little of that superfluity which serves to pamper the 
debased appetites of the enervated sons of luxury and 

The present age, however, has furnished us with two 
illustrious instances of poverty bursting through the 
cloud of surrounding impediments into the full blaze of 
notoriety and eminence. I allude to the two Bloom- 
fields, bards who may challenge a comparison with the 
most distinguished favourites of the Muse, and who 


both passed the day-spring of life, in labour, indigence, 
and obscurity. 

The author of the Farmer's Boy hath already re- 
ceived the applause he justly deserved. It yet remains 
for the Essay on War to enjoy all the distinction it 
so richly merits, as well from its sterling worth, as 
from the circumstance of its author. Whether the 
present age will be inclined to do it full justice, may 
indeed be feared. Had Mr. Nathaniel Bloomfield 
made his appearance in the horizon of letters prior 
to his brother, he would undoubtedly have been con- 
sidered as a meteor of uncommon attraction ; the 
critics would have admired, because it would have been 
the fashion to admire. But it is to be apprehended 
that our countrymen become inured to phenomena: — 
it is to be apprehended that the frivolity of the age can- 
not endure a repetition of the uncommon — that it will 
no longer be the rage to patronise indigent merit : that 
the beau monde will therefore neglect, and that, by a 
necessary consequence, the critics will sneer ! ! 

Nevertheless, sooner or later, merit will meet with its 
reward; and though the popularity of Mr. Bloomfield 
may be delayed, he must, at one time or other, receive 
the meed due to its deserts. Posterity will judge im- 
partially; and if bold and vivid images, and original 
conceptions, luminously displayed, and judiciously ap- 
posed, have any claim to the regard of mankind, the 
name of Nathaniel Bloomfield will not be without its 
high and appropriate honours. 

Rousseau very truly observes, that with whatever ta- 
lent a man may be born, the art of writing is not easily 
obtained. If this be applicable to men enjoying every 
advantage of scholastic initiation, how much more for- 
cibly must it apply to the offspring of a poor village 


tailor, untaught, and destitute both of the means and 
the time necessary for the cultivation of the mind ! If 
the art of writing be of difficult attainment to those 
who make it the study of their lives, what must it be to 
him, who perhaps, for the first forty years of his life, 
never entertained a thought that any thing he could 
write would be deemed worthy the attention of the 
public ! — whose only time for rumination was such as 
a sedentary and sickly employment would allow ; on 
the tailor's board, surrounded with men, perhaps, of 
depraved and rude habits, and impure conversation ! 

And yet, that Mr. N. Bloomfield's poems display 
acuteness of remark, and delicacy of sentiment, com- 
bined with much strength, and considerable selection 
of diction, few will deny. The Peean to Gunpowder 
would alone prove both his power of language, and the 
fertility of his imagination ; and the following extract pre- 
sents him to us in the still higher character of a bold and 
vivid painter. Describing the field after a battle, he says, 

Now here and there, ahout the horrid field, 
Striding across the dying and the dead, 
Stalks up a man, by strength superior, 
Or skill and prowess in the arduous fight, 
Preserved alive : — fainting he looks around ; 
Fearing pursuit— not caring to pursue. 
The supplicating voice of bitterest moans, 
Contortions of excruciating pain, 
The shriek of torture, and the groan of death, 
Surround him ; — and as night her mantle spreads, 
To veil the horrors of the mourning field, 
With cautious step shaping his devious way, 
He seeks a covert where to hide and rest : 
At every leaf that rustles in the breeze 
Starting, he grasps his sword ; and every nerve 
Is ready strain'd, for combat or for flight. 

P. 12. Essay on War 


If Mr. Bloomfield had written nothing besides the 
Elegy on the Enclosure of Honington Green, he would 
have had a right to be considered as a poet of no mean 
excellence. The heart which can read passages like 
the following without sympathetic emotion, must be 
dead to every feeling of sensibility : 

VI. The proud city's gay wealthy train, 

Who nought but refinement adore, 
May wonder to hear me complain 

That Honington Green is no more ; 
But if to the church you e'er went, 

If you knew what the village has been, 
You will sympathize while \ lament 

The enclosure of Honington Green. 

VII. That no more upon Honington Green 

Dwells the matron whom most I revere, 
If by pert Observation unseen, 

I e'en now could indulge a fond tear. 
Ere her bright morn of life was o'ercast, 

When my senses first woke to the scene, 
Some short happy hours she had past 

On the margin of Honington Green. 

VIII. Her parents with plenty were blest, 

And num'rous her children, and young, 
Youth's blossoms her cheek yet possest, 

And melody woke when she sung : 
A widow so youthful to leave, 

(Early clos'd the blest days he had seen) 
My father was laid in his grave, 

In the churchyard on Honington Green. 

XXI. Dear to me was the wild thorny hill, 

And dear the brown heath's sober scene 
And youth shall find happiness still, 
Though he rove not on common or green. 
* * * * * 


XXII. So happily flexile man's make, 

So pliantly docile his mind, 
Surrounding impressions we take, 

And bliss in each circumstance find. 
The youths of a more polish'd age 

Shall not wish these rude commons to see ; 
To the bird that's inur'd to the cage, 

It would not be bliss to be free. 

There is a sweet and tender melancholy pervades the 
elegiac ballad efforts of Mr. Bloomfield. which has the 
most indescribable effects on the heart. Were the ver- 
sification a little more polished, in some instances, they 
would be read with unmixed delight. It is to be hoped 
that he will cultivate this engaging species of composi- 
tion, and (if I may venture to throw out the hint), if 
judgment may be formed from the poems he has pub- 
lished, he would excel in sacred poetry. Most heartily 
do I recommend the lyre of David to this engaging bard. 
Divine topics have seldom been touched upon with suc- 
cess by our modern Muses : they afford a field in which 
he would have few competitors, and it is a field worthy 
of his abilities. W. 

(No. VII.*) 

If the situation of man, in the present life, be consi- 
dered in all its relations and dependencies, a striking 
inconsistency will be apparent to a very cursory ob- 
server. We have sure warrant for believing that our 
abode here is to form a comparatively insignificant part 
of our existence, and that on our conduct in this life 

* My predecessor, the Spectator, considering that the seventh 
part of our time is set apart for religious purposes-, devoted every 
seventh lucubration to matters connected with Christianity, and 
the severer part of mortals : I trust none of my readers will regret 
that, in this instance, I follow so good an example. 


will depend the happiness of the life to come; yet 
our actions daily give the lie to this proposition, inas- 
much as we commonly act like men who have no 
thought but for the present scene, and to whom the 
grave is the boundary of anticipation. But this is not 
the only paradox which humanity furnishes to the eye 
of a thinking man. It is very generally the case, that 
we spend our whole lives in the pursuit of objects, which 
common experience informs us are not capable of con- 
ferring that pleasure and satisfaction which we expect 
from their enjoyment. Our views are uniformly di- 
rected to one point:— happiness, in whatever garb it be 
clad, and under whatever figure shadowed, is the great 
aim of the busy multitudes, whom we behold toiling 
through the vale of life, in such an infinite diversity of 
occupation, and disparity of views. But the misfor- 
tune is, that we seek for happiness where she is not to 
be found, and the cause of wonder, that the experience 
of ages should not have guarded us against so fatal and 
so universal an error. 

It would be an amusing speculation to consider the 
various points after which our fellow-mortals are inces- 
santly straining, and in the possession of which they 
have placed that imaginary chief good which we are 
all doomed to covet, but which, perhaps, none of us, 
in this sublunary state, can attain. At present, how- 
ever, we are led to considerations of a more important 
nature. We turn from the inconsistencies observable 
in the prosecution of our subordinate pursuits, from the 
partial follies of individuals, to the general delusion 
which seems to envelope the whole human race : — the 
delusion under whose influence they lose sight of the 
chief end of their being, and cut down the sphere of 
their hopes and enjoyments to a few rolling years, and 
2 N 


that, too, in a scene where they know there is neither 
perfect fruition nor permanent delight. 

The faculty of contemplating mankind in the abstract, 
apart from those prepossessions which, both by nature 
and the power of habitual associations, would intervene 
to cloud our view, is only to be obtained by a life of 
virtue and constant meditation, by temperance, and 
purity of thought. Whenever it is attained, it must 
greatly tend to correct our motives — to simplify our 
desires — and to excite a spirit of contentment and pious 
resignation. We then, at length, are enabled to con- 
template our being, in all its bearings, and in its full 
extent, and the result is, that superiority to common 
views and indifference to the things of this life, which 
should be the fruit of all true philosophy, and which, 
therefore, are the more peculiar fruits of that system of 
philosophy which is called the Christian. 

To a mind thus sublimed, the great mass of man- 
kind will appear like men led astray by the workings 
of wild and distempered imaginations — visionaries who 
are wandering after the phantoms of their own teeming 
brains : and their anxious solicitude for mere matters 
of worldly accommodation and ease will seem more 
like the effects of insanity than of prudent foresight, 
as they are esteemed. To the awful importance of 
futurity he will observe them utterly insensible ; and 
he will see with astonishment the few allotted years of 
human life wasted in providing abundance they will 
never enjoy, while the eternity they are placed here to 
prepare for, scarcely employs a moment's consideration. 
And yet the mass of these poor wanderers in the ways 
of error, have the light of truth shining on their very 
foreheads. They have the revelation of Almighty God 
himself, to declare to them the folly of worldly cares, 


and the necessity for providing for a future state of 
existence. They know by the experience of every pre- 
ceding generation, that a very small portion of joy is 
allowed to the poor sojourners in thj.s vale of tears, and 
that, too, embittered with much pain and fear ; and yet 
every one is willing to flatter himself that he shall fare 
better than his predecessor in the same path, and that 
happiness will smile on him which hath frowned on all 
his progenitors. 

Still it would be wrong to deny the human race all 
claim to temporal felicity. There may be comparative, 
although very little positive, happiness ; — whoever is 
more exempt from the cares of the world and the cala- 
mities incident to humanity — whoever enjoys more con- 
tentment of mind, and is more resigned to the dispen- 
sations of Divine Providence — in a word, whoever pos- 
sesses more of the true spirit of Christianity than his 
neighbours, is comparatively happy. But the number 
of these, it is to be feared, is very small. Were all 
men equally enlightened by the illuminations of truth, 
as emanating from the spirit of Jehovah himself, they 
would all concur in the pursuit of virtuous ends by 
virtuous means — as there would be no vice, there would 
be very little infelicity. Every pain would be met with 
fortitude, every affliction with resignation. We should 
then all look back to the past with complacency, and 
to the future with hope. Even this unstable state of 
being would have many exquisite enjoyments — the 
principal of which would be the anticipation of that 
approaching state of beatitude to which we might then 
look with confidence, through the medium of that atone- 
ment of which we should be partakers, and our accept- 
ance, by virtue of which, would be sealed by that purity 
of mind of which human nature is, of itself incapable. 


But it is from the mistakes and miscalculations of man- 
kind, to which their fallen natures are continually prone, 
that arises that flood of misery which overwhelms the 
whole race, and resounds wherever the footsteps of 
man have penetrated. It is the lamentable error of 
placing happiness in vicious indulgences, or thinking 
to pursue it by vicious means. It is the blind folly of 
sacrificing the welfare of the future to the opportunity 
of immediate guilty gratification, which destroys the 
harmony of society, and poisons the peace, not only of 
the immediate procreators of the errors — not only of 
the identical actors of the vices themselves, but of all 
those of their fellows who fall within the reach of their 
influence or example, or who are in any wise connected 
with them by the ties of blood. 

I would therefore exhort you earnestly — you who 
are yet unskilled in the ways of the world— to beware 
on what object you concentre your hopes. Pleasures 
may allure — pride or ambition may stimulate, but their 
fruits are hollow and deceitful, and they afford no sure, 
no solid satisfaction. You are placed on the earth in 
a state of probation — your continuance here will be, at 
the longest, a very short period ; and when you are 
called from hence you plunge into an eternity, the com- 
pletion of which will be, in correspondence to your past 
life, unutterably happy or inconceivably miserable. 
Your fate will probably depend on your early pursuits 
■ — it will be these which will give the turn to your cha- 
racter and to your pleasures. I beseech you, there- 
fore, with a meek and lowly spirit, to read the pages 
of that Book, which the wisest and best of men have 
acknowledged to be the word of God. You will there 
find a rule of moral conduct, such as the world never 
had any idea of before its divulgation. If you covet 


earthly happiness, it is only to be found in the path you 
will find there laid down, and I can confidently pro- 
mise you, in a life of simplicity and purity, a life passed 
in accordance with the Divine word, such substantial 
bliss, such unruffled peace, as is no where else to be 
found. All other schemes of earthly pleasure are fleet- 
ing and unsatisfactory. They all entail upon them re- 
pentance and bitterness of thought. This alone en- 
dureth for ever — this alone embraces equally the pre- 
sent and the future — this alone can arm a man against 
every calamity — can alone shed the balm of peace over 
that scene of life when pleasures have lost their zest, 
and the mind can no longer look forward to the dark 
and mysterious future. Above all, beware of the ignis 
fatuus of false philosophy: that must be a very defec- 
tive system of ethics which will not bear a man through 
the most trying stage of his existence ; and I know of 
none that will do it but the Christian. W. 

(No. VIII.) 

c O<rnf "Koyovq yap <7rapax,aTa8vHW cog \u@wv 
E%£i jcev aminos eo-nv, n ayav, 

is-aig 5s y eitriv rafAtyovegot xajtoi* 

Anaxandrides apud Suidam. 

Much has been said of late on the subject of inscrip- 
tive writing, and that, in my opinion, to very little pur- 
pose. Dr. Drake, when treating on this topic, is for 
once inconclusive; but his essay does credit to his 
discernment, however little it may honour him as a pro- 
mulgator of the laws of criticism : the exquisite speci- 
mens it contains prove that the doctor has a feeling of 
propriety and general excellence, although he may be 
unhappy in defining them. Boileau says, briefly, * Les 
inscriptions doivent etre simples, courtes, et familiares? 
2 n 3 


We have, however, many examples of this kind of 
writing in our language, which, although they possess 
none of these qualities, are esteemed excellent. Aken- 
side's classic imitations are not at all simple, nothing 
short, and the very reverse of familiar, yet who can 
deny that they are beautiful, and in some instances 
appropriate ? Southey's inscriptions are noble pieces ; 
for the opposite qualities of tenderness and dignity, 
sweetness of imagery and terseness of moral, unrivalled ; 
they are perhaps wanting in propriety, and (which is 
the criterion) produce a much better effect in a book, 
than they would on a column or a cenotaph, There is 
a certain chaste and majestic gravity expected from the 
voice of tombs and monuments, which probably would 
displease in epitaphs never intended to be engraved, 
and inscriptions for obelisks which never existed. 

When a man visits the tomb of an illustrious charac- 
ter, a spot remarkable for some memorable deed, or a 
scene connected by its natural sublimity with the higher 
feelings of the breast, he is in a mood only for the ner- 
vous, the concise, and the impressive; and he will turn 
with disgust alike from the puerile conceits of the epi- 
grammatist, and the tedious prolixity of the herald. 
It is a nice thing to address the mind in the workings 
of generous enthusiasm. As words are not capable of 
exciting such an effervescence of the sublimer affec- 
tions, so they can do little towards increasing it. Their 
office is rather to point these feelings to a beneficial 
purpose, and, by some noble sentiment, or exalted 
moral, to impart to the mind that pleasure which re- 
sults from warm emotions when connected with the 
virtuous and the generous. 

In the composition of inscriptive pieces, great atten- 
tion must be paid to local and topical propriety. The 


occasion, and the place, must not only regulate the 
tenor, but even the style of an inscription ; for what, 
in one case, would be proper and agreeable, in another 
would be impertinent and disgusting. But these rules 
may always be taken for granted, that an inscription 
should be unaffected and free from conceits ; that no 
sentiment should be introduced of a trite or hackneyed 
nature ; and that the design and the moral to be in- 
culcated should be of sufficient importance to merit the 
reader's attention, and ensure his regard. Who would 
think of setting a stone up in the wilderness to tell the 
traveller what he knew before, or what, when he had 
learned for the first time, was not worth the knowing? 
It would be equally absurd to call aside his attention 
to a simile or an epigrammatic point. Wit on a monu- 
ment, is like a jest from a judge, or a philosopher cut- 
ting capers. It is a severe mortification to meet with 
flippancy where we looked for solemnity, and meretri- 
cious elegance where the occasion led us to expect the 
unadorned majesty of truth. 

That branch of inscriptive writing which commemo- 
rates the virtues of departed worth, or points out the 
ashes of men who yet live in the admiration of their 
posterity, is, of all others, the most interesting, and, if 
properly managed, the most useful. 

It is not enough to proclaim to the observer that he 
is drawing near to the reliques of the deceased genius, 
— the occasion seems to provoke a few reflections. If 
these be natural, they will be in unison with the feel- 
ings of the reader ; and, if they tend where they ought 
to tend, they will leave him better than they found 
him. But these reflections must not be too much pro- 
longed. They must rather be hints than dissertations. 
It is sufficient to start the idea, and the imagination of 


the reader will pursue the train to much more advan- 
tage than the writer could do by words. 

Panegyric is seldom judicious in the epitaphs on pub- 
lic characters ; for, if it be deserved, it cannot need pub- 
lication, and if it be exaggerated, it will only serve to 
excite ridicule. When employed in memorizing the 
retired virtues of domestic life, and qualities which, 
though they only served to cheer the little circle of 
privacy, still deserved, from their unfrequency, to tri- 
umph, at least for a while, over the power of the grave, 
it may be interesting and salutary in its effects. To 
this purpose, however, it is rarely employed. An epi- 
taph-book will seldom supply the exigencies of cha- 
racter ; and men of talents are not always, even in these 
favoured times, at hand to eternize the virtues of pri- 
vate life. 

The following epitaph, by Mr. Hayley, is inscribed 
on a monument to the memory of Cowper, in the church 
of East Dereham : 

' Ye who with warmth the public triumph feel 

Of talents dignified by sacred zeal, 

Here to Devotion's bard devoutly just, 

Pay your fond tribute due to Cowper's dust ! 

England, exulting in his spotless fame, 

Ranks with her dearest sons his favourite name : 

Sense, Fancy, Wit, conspire not all to raise 

So clear a title to Affection's praise : 

His highest honours to the heart belong ; 

His virtues formed the magic of his song.' 

' This epitaph,' says a periodical critic,* c is simply 
elegant, and appropriately just.' I regard this sen- 
tence as peculiarly unfortunate, for the epitaph seems 
to me to be elegant without simplicity, andjW without 

* The Monthly Reviewer. 


propriety. No one will deny that it is correctly written, 
and that it is not destitute of grace : but in what con- 
sists its simplicity I am at a loss to imagine. The ini- 
tial address is laboured and circumlocutory. There is 
something artificial rather than otherwise in the per- 
sonification of England; and her ranking the poet's 
name ' with her dearest sons,' instead of with those of 
her dearest sons, is like ranking poor John Doe with a 
proper bona fide son of Adam, in a writ of arrest. 
Sense, Fancy, and Wit, ' raising a title,' and that to 
* Affection's praise,' is not very simple, and not over 
intelligible. Again, the epitaph is just, because it is 
strictly true ; but it is by no means, therefore, appro- 
priate. Who that would turn aside to visit the ashes 
of Cowper, would need to be told that England ranks 
him with her favourite sons, and that sense, fancy, and 
wit were not his greatest honours, for that his virtues 
formed the magic of his song; or who, hearing this, 
would be the better for the information? Had Mr. 
Hayley been employed in the monumental praises of a 
private man, this might have been excusable, but speak- 
ing of such a man as Cowper, it is idle. This epitaph 
is not appropriate, therefore, and we have shewn that 
it is not remarkable for simplicity. Perhaps the re- 
spectable critics themselves may not feel inclined to 
dispute this point very tenaciously. Epithets are very 
convenient little things for rounding off a period ; and 
it will not be the first time that truth has been sacri- 
ficed to verbosity and antithesis. 

To measure lances with Hayley may be esteemed 
presumptuous; but probably the following, although 
much inferior as a composition, would have had more 
effect than his polished and harmonious lines ; — 



Reader ! if with no vulgar sympathy 

Thou view'st the wreck of genius and of worth, 

Stay thou thy footsteps near this hallow'd spot. 

Here Cowper rests. Although renown has made 

His name familiar to thine ear, this stone 

May tell thee that his virtues were ahove 

The common portion : — that the voice, now hush'd 

In death, was once serenely querulous 

With pity's tones, and in the ear of woe 

Spake music. Now forgetful at thy feet 

His tired head presses on its last long rest, 

Still tenant of the tomb ; — and on the cheek, 

Once warm with animation's lambent flush, 

Sits the pale image of unmark'd decay. 

Yet mourn not. He had chosen the better part : 

And these sad garments of mortality 

Put off, we trust, that to a happier land 

He went a light and gladsome passenger. 

Sigh'st thou for honours, reader 1 Call to mind 

That glory's voice is impotent to pierce 

The silence of the tomb ! but virtue blooms 

Even on the wreck of life, and mounts the skies ! 

So gird thy loins with lowliness, and walk 

With Cowper on the pilgrimage of Christ. 

This inscription is faulty from its length, but if a 
painter cannot get the requisite effect at one stroke, he 
must do it by many. The laconic style of epitaphs is 
the most difficult to be managed of any, inasmuch as 
most is expected from it. A sentence standing alone 
on a tomb, or a monument, is expected to contain 
something particularly striking: and when this expec- 
tation is disappointed, the reader feels like a man who, 
having been promised an excellent joke, is treated with 
a stale conceit, or a vapid pun. The best specimen of 


this kind, which I am acquainted with, is that on a 
French General : 

' Siste, Viator; Heroem calcas!' 

Stop, traveller ; thou treadest on a hero ! W. 

(No. IX.) 

Scires e sanguine natos. — Qvid. 
It is common for busy and active men to behold the 
occupations of the retired and contemplative person 
with contempt. They consider his speculations as idle 
and unproductive ; as they participate in none of his 
feelings, they are strangers to his motives, his views, 
and his delights : they behold him elaborately em- 
ployed on what they conceive forwards none of the 
interests of life, contributes to none of its gratifications, 
removes none of its inconveniences : they conclude, 
therefore, that he is led away by the delusions of fu- 
tile philosophy, that he labours for no good, and lives 
to no end. Of the various frames of mind which they 
observe in him, no one seems to predominate more, and 
none appears to them more absurd, than sadness, 
which seems, in some degree, to pervade all his views, 
and shed a solemn tinge over all his thoughts. Sad- 
ness, arising from no personal grief, and connected 
with no individual concern, they regard as moon-struck 
melancholy, the effect of a mind overcast with consti- 
tutional gloom, and diseased with habits- of vain and 
fanciful speculation. — ' We can share with the sorrows 
of the unfortunate,' say they, ' but this monastic spleen 
merits only our derision : it tends to no beneficial pur- 
pose ; it benefits neither its possessor nor society/ 
Those who have thought a little more on this subject 
than the gay and busy crowd, will draw conclusions 


of a different nature. That there is a sadness, spring- 
ing from the noblest and purest sources, a sadness 
friendly to the human heart, and, by direct consequence, 
to human nature in general, is a truth which a little 
illustration will render tolerably clear, and which, 
when understood in its full force, may probably convert 
contempt and ridicule into respect. 

I set out, then, with the proposition, that the man 
who thinks deeply, especially if his reading be exten- 
sive, will unless his heart be very cold and very light, 
become habituated to a pensive, or, with more propriety, 
a mournful cast of thought. This will arise from two 
more particular sources — from the view of human na- 
ture in general, as demonstrated by the experience 
both of past and present times, and from the contem- 
plation of individual instances of human depravity and 
of human suffering. The first of these is, indeed, the last 
in the order of time, for his general views of humanity 
are in a manner consequential, or resulting from the 
special ; but I have inverted that order for the sake of 

Of those who have occasionally thought on these 
subjects, I may, with perfect assurance of their reply, 
inquire what have been their sensations when they 
have, for a moment, attained a more enlarged and ca- 
pacious notion of the state of man in all its bearings and 
dependencies? They have found, and the profoundest 
philosophers have done no more, that they are en- 
veloped in mystery, and that the mystery of man's 
situation is not without alarming and fearful circum- 
stances. They have discovered that all they know of 
themselves is that they live, but that from whence 
they came, or whither they are going, is by Nature 
altogether hidden; that impenetrable gloom surrounds 


them on every side, and that they even hold their 
morrow on the credit of to-day, when it is, in fact, 
buried in the vague and indistinct gulf of the ages to 
come! — These are reflections deeply interesting, and 
lead to others so awful, that many gladly shut their 
eyes on the giddy and unfathomable depths which seem 
to stretch before them. The meditative man, however, 
endeavours to pursue them to the farthest stretch of 
the reasoning powers, and to enlarge his conceptions 
of the mysteries of his own existence ; and the more he 
learns, and the deeper he penetrates, the more cause 
does he find for being serious, and the more induce- 
ments to be continually thoughtful. 

If, again, we turn from the condition of mortal ex- 
istence, considered in the abstract, to the qualities and 
characters of man, and his condition in a state of so- 
ciety, we see things perhaps equally strange and infi- 
nitely more affecting. — In the economy of creation, we 
perceive nothing inconsistent with the power of an all- 
wise and all-merciful God. A perfect harmony runs 
through all the parts of the universe. Plato's syrens sing 
not only from the planetary octave, but through all the mi- 
nutest divisions of the stupendous whole ; order, beauty, 
and perfection, the traces of the great Architect, glow 
through every particle of his work. At man, however, 
we stop : there is one exception. The harmony of 
order ceases, and vice and misery disturb the beautiful 
consistency of creation, and bring us first acquainted 
with positive evil. We behold men carried irresistibly 
away by corrupt principles and vicious inclinations, 
indulging in propensities, destructive as well to them- 
selves as to those around them ; the stronger oppress- 
ing the weaker, and the bad persecuting the good ! We 
see the depraved in'prosperity, the virtuous in adversity, 
2 o 


the guilty unpunished, the deserving overwhelmed witfi 
unprovoked misfortunes. From hence we are tempted 
to think, that He, whose arm holds the planets in their 
course, and directs the comets along their eccentric 
orbits, ceases to exercise his providence over the affairs 
of mankind, and leaves them to be governed and di- 
rected by the impulses of a corrupt heart, or the blind 
workings of chance alone. Yet this is inconsistent 
both with the wisdom and the goodness of the Deity. If 
God permit evil, he causes it : the difference is casuis- 
tical* We are led, therefore, to conclude, that it was 
not always thus ; that man was created in a far differ- 
ent and far happier condition; but that, by some means 
or other, he has forfeited the protection of his Maker. 
Here then is a mystery. The ancients, led by reason- 
ings alone, perceived it with amazement, but did not 
solve the problem. They attempted some explanation 
of it by the lame fiction of a golden age and its cession, 
where, by a circular mode of reasoning, they attribute 
the introduction of vice to their gods having deserted 
the earth, and the desertion of the gods to the intro- 
duction of vice.* This, however, was the logic of the 
poets; the philosophers disregarded the fable, but did 

* Kttt TOTE £« 7(^0q <fKV{JL7liV tLltO ^BoVOq SV£Vohltl$ f 

AQavatoov fxsra <pv\ov nov, Trpo'Ki'ffovr ttV0g»7Tovj 
.Ai$wg Kai NE/A£<ri$« t«- Ss tei-^erai ahy&a. Kvyga, 
©VETOJf av9^07ronri, kclkov S'oux so-o-zrai aXx«. 

Hesiod. Opera et Dies. Lib. i. 195. 
Victajacet Pietas : et Virgo caede madentes, 
Ultima coelestum terras -Astraea reliquit. 

Ovid. Metamor. L. i. Fab. 4. 
Paulatim deinde ad Superos Astraea recessit, 
Hac comite atque duae pariter fugere -sorores. 

Juvenal. Sat, vi. 1. 10. . 


not dispute the fact it was intended to account for. 
They often hint at human degeneracy, and some un- 
known curse hanging over our being, and even coming 
into the world along with us. Pliny, in the preface to 
his seventh book, has this remarkable passage : 'The 
animal about to rule over the rest of created animals 
lies weeping, bound hand and foot, making his first 
entrance upon life with sharp pangs, and this, for no 
other crime than that he is born man.' — Cicero* in a 
passage, for the preservation of which we are indebted 
to St. Augustine, gives a yet stronger idea of an exist- 
ing degeneracy in human nature : — « Man,' says he, 
'. comes into existence, not as from the hands of a 
mother, but of a step-dame nature, with a body feeble, 
naked, and fragile, and a mind exposed to anxiety and 
care, abject in fear, unmeet for labour, prone to licen- 
tiousness, in which, however, there still dwell some 
sparks of the divine mind, though obscured, and, as it 
were, in ruins/ And, in another place, he intimates it 
as a current opinion, that man comes into the world as 
into a state of punishment expiatory of crimes com- 
mitted in some previous stage of existence, of which 
we now retain no recollection. 

From these proofs, and from daily observation and 
experience, there is every ground for concluding that 
man is in a state of misery and depravity quite incon- 
sistent with the happiness for which, by a benevolent 
God, he must have been created. We see glaring 
marks of this in our own times. Prejudice alone blinds 
us to the absurdity and the horror of those systematic 
murders which go by the name of wars, where man 
falls on man, brother slaughters brother; where death, 
in every variety of horror, preys ' on the finely -fibred 
human frame 1 and where the cry of the widow and the 
2 o2 


orphan rise up to heaven long after the thunder of the 
fight and the clang of arms have ceased, and the bones 
of sons, brothers, and husbands slain are grown white 
on the field. Customs like these vouch, with most 
miraculous organs, for the depravity of the human 
heart, and these are not the most mournful of those 
considerations which present themselves to the mind 
of the thinking man. 

Private life is equally fertile in calamitous perversion 
of reason, and extreme accumulation of misery. On the 
one hand, we see a large proportion of men sedulously 
employed in the eduction of their own ruin, pursuing 
vice in all its varieties, and sacrificing the peace and 
happiness of the innocent and unoffending to their own 
brutal gratifications ; and on the other, pain, misfor- 
tune, and misery, overwhelming alike the good and the 
bad, the provident and the improvident. But too 
general a view would distract our attention : let the 
reader pardon me if I suddenly draw him away from 
the survey of the crowds of life to a few detached scenes. 
We will select a single picture at random. The cha- 
racter is common. 

Behold that beautiful female, who is rallying a well- 
dressed young man with so much gaiety and humour. 
Did you ever see so lovely a countenance? There is an 
expression of vivacity in her fine dark eye which quite 
captivates one ; and her smile, were it a little less bold, 
would be bewitching. How gay and careless she 
seems ! One would suppose she had a very light and 
happy heart. Alas ! how appearances deceive ! This 
gaiety is all feigned. It is her business to please, and 
beneath a fair and painted outside she conceals an un- 
quiet and forlorn breast. When she was yet very 
young, an engaging but dissolute young man took ad- 


vantage of her simplicity, and of the affection with 
which he had inspired her, to betray her virtue. At 
first her infamy cost her many tears ; but habit wore 
away this remorse, leaving only a kind of indistinct 
regret, and, as she fondly loved her betrayer, she ex- 
perienced, at times, a mingled pleasure even in her 
abandoned situation. But this was soon over. Her 
lover, on pretence of a journey into the country, left 
her for ever. She soon afterward heard of his marriage, 
with an agony of grief which few can adequately 
conceive, and none describe. The calls of want, how- 
ever, soon subdued the more distracting ebullitions of 
anguish. She had no choice left ; all the gates of vir- 
tue were shut upon her, and though she really abhorred 
the course, she was obliged to betake herself to vice 
for support. Her next keeper possessed her person 
without her heart. She has since passed through 
several hands, and has found, by bitter experience, 
that the vicious, on whose generosity she is thrown, 
are devoid of all feeling but that of self- gratification, 
and that even the wages of prostitution are reluctantly 
and grudgingly paid. She now looks on all men as 
sharpers. She smiles but to entangle and destroy; 
and while she simulates fondness, is intent only on 
the extorting of that, at best poor pittance, which her 
necessities loudly demand. Thoughtless as she may 
seem, she is not without an idea of her forlorn and 
wretched situation, and she looks only to sudden death, 
as her refuge, against that time when her charms shall 
cease to allure the eye of incontinence, when even the 
lowest haunts of infamy shall be shut against her, and 
without a friend, or a hope, she must sink under the 
pressure of want and disease. 

But we will now shift the scene a little, and select 
2 o 3 


another object. Behold yon poor weary wretch, who, 
with a child wrapt in her arms, with difficulty drags 
along the road. The man, with a knapsack, who is 
walking before her, is her husband, and is marching 
to join his regiment. He has been spending, at a dram- 
shop in the town they have just left, the supply which 
the pale and weak appearance of his wife proclaims 
was necessary for her sustenance. He is now half- 
drunk, and is venting the artificial spirits which in- 
toxication excites in the abuse of his weary helpmate 
behind him. She seems to listen to his reproaches in 
patient silence. Her face will tell you more than many 
words, as, with a wan and meaning look, she surveys 
the little wretch who is asleep on her arms. The tur- 
bulent brutality of the man excites no attention : she 
is pondering on the future chance of life and the pro- 
bable lot of her heedless little one. 

One other picture, and I have done. The man pacing 
with a slow step and languid aspect over yon prison 
court, was once a fine dashing fellow, the admiration 
of the ladies, and the envy of the men. He is the only 
representative of a once respectable family, and is 
brought to this situation by unlimited indulgence at 
that time when the check is most necessary. He began 
to figure in genteel life at an early age. His misjudg- 
ing mother, to whose sole care he was left, thinking no 
alliance too good for her darling, cheerfully supplied 
his extravagance; under the idea that it would not last 
long, and that it would enable him to shine in those cir- 
cles where she wished him to rise. But he soon found 
that habits of prodigality, once well gained, are never 
eradicated. His fortune, though genteel, was not ade- 
quate to such habits of expense. His unhappy parent 
lived to see him make a degrading alliance, and come 


in danger of a jail, and then died of a broken heart. 
His affairs soon wound themselves tip. His debts were 
enormous, and he had nothing to pay them with. He 
has now been in that prison many years, and since he 
is excluded from the benefit of an insolvency act, he 
has made up his mind to the idea of ending his days 
there. His wife, whose beauty had decoyed him, since 
she found he could not support her, deserted him for 
those who could, leaving him without friend or com- 
panion, to pace, with measured steps, over the court of 
a country jail, and endeavour to beguile the lassitude 
of imprisonment, by thinking on the days that are gone y 
or counting the squares in his grated window in every 
possible direction, backwards, forwards, and across, till 
he sighs to find the sum always the same, and that the 
more anxiously we strive to beguile the moments in 
their course, the more sluggishly they travel. 

If these are accurate pictures of some of the varieties 
of human suffering, and if such pictures are common 
even to triteness, what conclusions must we draw as to 
the condition of man in general ; and what must be the 
prevailing frame of mind of him who meditates much on 
these subjects, and who, unbracing the whole tissue of 
causes and effects, sees Misery invariably the offspring 
of Vice, and Vice existing in hostility to the intentions 
and wishes of God ? Let the meditative man turn where 
he will, he finds traces of the depraved state of Nature, 
and her consequent misery. History presents him with 
little but murder, treachery, and crimes of every de- 
scription. Biography only strengthens the view, by 
concentrating it. The philosophers remind him of the 
existence of evil, by their lessons how to avoid or en- 
dure it : and the very poets themselves afford him plea- 
sure, not unconnected with regret, as, either by con- 


trast, exemplification, or deduction, they bring the world 
and its circumstances before his eyes. 

That such a one, then, is prone to sadness, who will 
wonder? If such meditations are beneficial, who will 
blame them ? The discovery of evil naturally leads us 
to contribute our mite towards the alleviation of the 
wretchedness it introduces. While we lament vice, we 
learn to shun it ourselves, and to endeavour, if possible, to 
arrest its progress in those around us; and in the course 
of these high and lofty speculations, we are insensibly 
led to think humbly of ourselves, and to lift up our 
thoughts to Him who is alone the fountain of all per- 
fection and the source of all good. W. 

(No. X.) 

La rime est une esclave, et ne doit qu'obeir. 

Boileau JJ Art Poetique. 

Experiments in versification have not often been suc- 
cessful. Sir Philip Sidney, with all his genius, great 
as- it undoubtedly was, could not impart grace to his 
hexameters, or fluency to his sapphics. Spenser's 
stanza was new, but his verse was familiar to the ear : 
and though his rhymes were frequent even to satiety, 
he seems to have avoided the awkwardness of novelty, 
and the difficulty of unpractised metres. Donne had 
not music enough to render his broken rhyming couplets 
sufferable, and neither his wit nor his pointed satire 
were sufficient to rescue him from that neglect which 
his uncouth and rugged versification speedily superin- 

In our times, Mr. Southey has given grace and me- 
lody to some of the Latin and Greek measures, and 
Mr. Bowles has written rhyming heroics, wherein the 


sense is transmitted from couplet to couplet, and the 
pauses are varied with all the freedom of blank verse, 
without exciting any sensation of ruggedness, or offend- 
ing the nicest ear. But these are minor efforts : the 
former of these exquisite poets has taken a yet wider 
range, and in his ' Thalaba the Destroyer/ has spurned 
at ail the received laws of metre, and framed a fabric 
of verse altogether his own. 

An innovation so bold as that of Mr. Southey, was 
sure to meet with disapprobation and ridicule. The 
world naturally looks with suspicion on systems which 
contradict established principles, and refuse to quad- 
rate with habits which, as they have been used to, men 
are apt to think cannot be improved upon. The op- 
position which has been made to the metre of Thalaba, 
is, therefore, not so much to be imputed to its want of 
harmony, as to the operation of existing prejudices ; 
and it is fair to conclude, that, as these prejudices are 
softened by usage, and the strangeness of novelty wears 
off, the peculiar features of this lyrical frame of verse 
will be more candidly appreciated, and its merits more 
unreservedly acknowledged. 

Whoever is conversant with the writings of this au- 
thor, will have observed and admired that greatness of 
mind, and comprehension of intellect, by which he is 
enabled, on all occasions, to throw off the shackles of 
habit and prepossession. Southey never treads in the 
beaten track : his thoughts, while they are those of na- 
ture, carry that cast of originality which is the stamp 
and testimony of genius. He views things through a 
peculiar phasis, and while he has the feelings of a man, 
they are those of a man almost abstracted from mor- 
tality, and reflecting on, and painting the scenes of life, 
as if he were a mere spectator, uninfluenced by his own 


connexion with the objects he surveys. To this faculty 
of bold discrimination I attribute many of Mr. Southey's 
peculiarities as a poet. He never seems to inquire how 
other men would treat a subject, or what may happen 
to be the usage of the times ; but filled with that strong 
sense of fitness, which is the result of bold and un- 
shackled thought, he fearlessly pursues that course 
which his own sense of propriety points out. 

It is very evident to me, and I should conceive to 
all who consider the subject attentively, that the struc- 
ture of the verse, which Mr. Southey has promulgated 
in his Thalaba, was neither adopted rashly, nor from 
any vain emulation of originality. As the poet him- 
self happily observes, ' It is the arabesque ornament of 
an Arabian tale.' No one would wish to see the Joan 
of Arc in such a garb ; but the wild freedom of the ver- 
sification of Thalaba accords well with the romantic 
wildness of the story; and I do not hesitate to say, 
that, had any other known measure been adopted, the 
poem would have been deprived of half its beauty, 
and all its propriety. In blank verse it would have 
been absurd ; in rhyme, insipid. The lyrical manner 
is admirably adapted to the sudden transitions and rapid 
connexions of an Arabian tale, while its variety pre- 
cludes taedium, and its full, because unshackled, ca- 
dence, satisfies the ear with legitimate harmony. At 
first, indeed, the verse may appear uncouth, because it 
is new to the ear; but I defy any man who has any 
feeling of melody, to peruse the whole poem, without 
paying tribute to the sweetness of its flow, and the 
gracefulness of its modulations. 

In judging of this extraordinary poem, we should 
consider it as a genuine lyric production, — we should 
conceive it as recited to the harp, in times when such 


relations carried nothing incredible with them. Carry- 
ing this idea along with us, the admirable art of the 
poet will strike us with tenfold conviction; the abrupt 
sublimity of his transitions, the sublime simplicity of his 
manner, and the delicate touches by which he connects 
the various parts of his narrative, will then be more 
strongly observable, and we shall in particular, remark 
the uncommon felicity with which he has adapted his 
versification ; and, in the midst of the wildest irregu- 
larity, left nothing to shock the ear, or offend the judg- 

(No. XI.) 

Few histories would be more worthy of attention than 
that of the progress of knowledge, from its first dawn 
to the time of its meridian splendour, among the ancient 
Greeks. Unfortunately, however, the precautions which 
in this early period, were almost generally taken to con- 
fine all knowledge to a particular branch of men, and 
when the Greeks began to contend for the palm among 
the learned nations, their backwardness to acknowledge 
the sources from whence they derived the first principles 
of their philosophy, have served to wrap this interesting 
subject in almost impenetrable obscurity. Few vestiges, 
except the Egyptian hieroglyphics, now remain of the 
learning of the more ancient world. Of the two mil- 
lions of verses said to have been written by the Chal- 
dean Zoroaster,* we have no relics : and the oracles 
which go under his name are pretty generally acknow- 
ledged to be spurious. 

The Greeks unquestionably derived their philosophy 

* Pliny. 


from the Egyptians and Chaldeans. Both Pythagoras 
and Plato had visited those countries for the advantage 
of learning; and if we may credit the received accounts 
of the former of these illustrious sages, he was regularly 
initiated in the schools of Egypt, during the period of 
twenty-two years that he resided in that country, and 
became the envy and admiration of the Egyptians them- 
selves. Of the Pythagorean doctrines we have some 
accounts remaining ; and nothing is wanting to render 
the systems of Platonism complete and intelligible. In 
the dogmas of these philosophers, therefore, we may 
be able to trace the learning of these primitive nations, 
though our conclusions must be cautiously drawn, and 
much must be allowed to the active intelligence of two 
Greeks. Ovid's short summary of the Philosophy of 
Pythagoras deserves attention. 

Isque, licet coeli regione remotos, 

Mente Deos adiit : et, quae natura negabat 
Visibus humanis, oculis ea pectoris hausit. 
Cumque animo, et vigili perspexerat omnia curk ; 
In medium discenda dabat : coetumque silentum, 
Dictaque mirantum, magni primordia mundi 
Et rerum causas et quid natura docebat, 
Quid Deus : unde nives : quas fulminis esset origo 
Jupiter, an venti, discussa nube, tonarent, 
Quid quateret terras : qua sidera lege mearent, 
Et quodcumque latet. 

If we are to credit this account, arid it is corroborated 
by many other testimonies, Pythagoras searched deeply 
into natural causes. Some have imagined, and strongly 
asserted, that his central fire was figurative of the sun, 
and therefore that he had an idea of its real situation ; 
but this opinion, so generally adopted, may be combated 
with some degree of reason. I should be inclined to 
think Pythagoras gained his idea of the great central^ 


vivifying, and creative fire from the Chaldeans, and that^ 
therefore, it was the representative not of the sun but 
of the Deity. Zoroaster taught that there was one God, 
Eternal, the Father of the Universe : he assimilated the 
Deity to light, and applied to him the names of Light, 
Beams, and Splendour. The Magi, corrupting his 
representation of the Supreme Being, and, taking lite- 
rally what was meant as an allegory or symbol, sup- 
posed that God was this central fire, the source of heat, 
light, and life, residing in the centre of the universe ; 
and from hence they introduced among the Chaldeans 
the worship of fire. That Pythagoras was tainted with 
this superstition is well known. On the testimony of 
Plutarch, his disciples held, that in the midst of the four 
elements is the fiery globe of Unity, or Monad — the 
procreative, nutritive, and excitive power. The sacred 
fire of Vesta, among the Greeks and Latins, was a re- 
main of this doctrine. 

As the limits of this paper will not allow me to take 
in all the branches of this subject, I shall confine my 
attention to the opinions held by these early nations of 
the nature of the Godhead. 

Amidst the corruptions introduced by the Magi, we 
may discern, with tolerable certainty, that Zoroaster 
taught the worship of the one true God ; and Thales, 
Pythagoras, and Plato, who had all been instituted in 
the mysteries of the Chaldeans, taught the same doc- 
trine. These philosophers likewise asserted the om- 
nipotence and eternity of God ; and that he was the 
creator of all things, and the governor of the universe. 
Plato decisively supported the doctrines of future re- 
wards and punishments ; and Pythagoras, struck with 
the idea of the omnipresence of the Deity, defined him 
as animus per universas mundi partes omnemque naturam 
2 p 


commeans atque diffusus, ex quo omnia quce nascuntur ani~ 
malia vitam capiunt* — An intelligence moving upon, 
and diffused over all parts of the universe and all na- 
ture, from which all animals derive their existence. 
As for the swarm of gods, worshipped both in Egypt 
and Greece, it is evident they were only esteemed as 
inferior deities. In the time of St. Paul, there was a 
temple at Athens inscribed to the unknown God; and 
Hesiod makes them younger than the earth and heaven. 

Ef app£«? ov$ Tata xai Ovgavoq ev^vq STJ»T6v 

Ot t ex tctiv sysvovro $soi J»T«p£? eaajy. — Theog. 

If Pythagoras, and the other philosophers who suc- 
ceeded him, paid honour to these gods, they either did 
it through fear of encountering ancient prejudices, or 
they reconciled it by recurring to the Demonology of 
their masters, the Chaldeans, who maintained the agency 
of good and bad Demons, who presided over different 
things, and were distinguished into the powers of light 
and darkness, heat and cold. It is remarkable, too, 
that amongst all these people, whether Egyptians or 
Chaldeans, Greeks or Romans, as well as every other 
nation under the sun, sacrifices were made to the gods, 
in order to render them propitious to their wishes, or 
to expiate their offences — a fact which proves, that the 
conviction of the interference of the Deity in human 
affairs is universal ; and, what is much more important, 
that this custom is primitive, and derived from the first 
inhabitants of the world. 

* * * * 

(No. XII.) 

While the seat of empire was yet at Byzantium, and 

* Lactantius Div. Inst. lib. cap. 5. etiam, Minucius Felix, ' Py- 
thagorae Deus est animus per universam rerum naturam commeans 
atque intentus ex quo etiam animalium omnium vita capiatur.' 


that city was the centre, not only of dominion, but of 
learning and politeness, a certain hermit had fixed his 
residence in a cell, on the banks of the Athyras, at the 
distance of about ten miles from the capital. The spot 
was retired, although so near the great city, and was 
protected, as well by woods and precipices as by the 
awful reverence with which, at that time, all ranks be- 
held the character of a recluse. Indeed, the poor old 
man, who tenanted the little hollow, at the summit of 
a crag, beneath which the Athyras rolls its impetuous 
torrent, was not famed for the severity of his penances, 
or the strictness of his mortifications. That he was 
either studious, or protracted his devotions to a late hour, 
was evident, for his lamp was often seen to stream 
through the trees which shaded his dwelling, when ac- 
cident called any of the peasants from their beds at un- 
seasonable hours. Be this as it may, no miracles were 
imputed to him ; the sick rarely came to petition for 
the benefit of his prayers, and, though some both loved 
him, and had good reason for loving him, yet many 
undervalued him for the want of that very austerity 
which the old man seemed most desirous to avoid. 

It was evening, and the long shadows of the Thra- 
cian mountains were extending still farther and farther 
along the plains, when this old man was disturbed in 
his meditations by the approach of a stranger. '■ How 
far is it to Byzantium?' was the question put by the 
traveller. ' Not far to those who know the country,* 
replied the hermit, ( but a stranger would not easily 
find his way through the windings of these woods, and 
the intricacies of the plains beyond them. Do you see 
that blue mist which stretches along the bounding line 
of the horizon as far as the trees will permit the eye to 
trace it ? That is the Propontis : and higher up on the 
2 p 2 


left, the city of Constantinople rears its proud head 
above the waters. But I would dissuade thee, stronger, 
from pursuing thy journey farther to-night. Thou 
mayest rest in the village, which is half way down the 
hill ; or if thou wilt share my supper of roots, and put 
up with a bed of leaves, my cell is open to thee.' — ' I 
thank thee, father,' replied the youth, ' I am weary 
with my journey, and will accept thy proffered hospi- 
tality.' They ascended the rock together. The her- 
mit's cell was the work of nature. It penetrated far into 
the rock, and in the innermost recess was a little chapel, 
furnished with a crucifix, and a human skull, the ob- 
jects of the hermit's nightly and daily contemplation, 
for neither of them received his adoration. That cor- 
ruption had not as yet crept into the Christian church. 
The hermit now lighted up a fire of dry sticks (for the 
nights are very piercing in the regions above the Hel- 
lespont and the Bosphorus), and then proceeded to 
prepare their vegetable meal. While he was thus em- 
ployed, his young guest surveyed, with surprise, the 
dwelling which he was to inhabit for the night. A 
cold rock-hole on the bleak summit of one of the Thra- 
cian hills, seemed to him a comfortless choice for a 
weak and solitary old man. The rude materials of his 
scanty furniture still more surprised him. A table fixed 
to the ground, a wooden bench, an earthen lamp, a 
number of rolls of papyrus and vellum, and a heap of 
leaves in a corner, the hermit's bed, were all his stock. 
* Is it possible/ at length he exclaimed, ' that you can 
tenant this comfortless cave, with these scanty accom- 
modations, through choice : Go with me, old man, to 
Constantinople, and receive from me those conveniences 
which befit your years.' ' And what art thou going to 
do at Constantinople, my young friend V said the her^ 


mit, ' for thy dialect bespeaks thee a native of more 
southern regions. Am I mistaken, art thou not an 
Athenian?' 'lam an Athenian,' replied the youth, 
* by birth, but I hope I am not an Athenian in vice. 
I have left my degenerate birth-place in quest of hap- 
piness. I have learned from my master, Speusippus, 
a genuine asserter of the much belied doctrines of Epi- 
curus, that as a future state is a mere phantom and 
vagary of the brain, it is the only true wisdom to enjoy 
life while we have it. But I have learned from him 
also, that virtue alone is true enjoyment. I am re- 
solved, therefore, to enjoy life, and that too with virtue, 
as my companion and guide. My travels are begun 
with the design of discovering where I can best unite 
both objects : enjoyment the most exquisite, with vir- 
tue the most perfect. You perhaps may have reached 
the latter, my good father ; the former you have cer- 
tainly missed. To-morrow I shall continue my search. 
At Constantinople, I shall laugh and sing with the gay, 
meditate with the sober, drink deeply of every unpol- 
luted pleasure, and taste all the fountains of wisdom 
and philosophy. I have heard much of the accomplish- 
ments of the women of Byzantium. With us, females 
are mere household slaves; here, I am told, they have 
minds. I almost promise myself that I shall marry and 
settle at Constantinople, where the loves and graces 
seem alone to reside, and where even the women have 
minds. My good father, how the wind roars about this 
aerial nest of yours, and here you sit during the long 
cold nights, ail alone, cold and cheerless, when Con- 
stantinople is just at your feet, with all its joys, its com- 
forts, and its elegancies. I perceive that the philoso- 
phers of our sect, who succeeded Epicurus, were right, 
when they taught that there might be virtue without 


enjoyment, and that virtue without enjoyment is not 
worth the having.' The face of the youth kindled with 
animation as he spake these words, and he visibly en- 
joyed the consciousness of superior intelligence. The 
old marf sighed, and was silent. As they ate their 
frugal supper, both parties seemed involved in deep 
thought. The young traveller was dreaming of the 
Byzantine women : his host seemed occupied with far 
different meditations. ' So you are travelling to Con- 
stantinople in search of happiness?' at length exclaimed 
the hermit; * I too have been a suitor of that divinity, 
and it may be of use to you to hear how I have fared. 
The history of my life will serve to fill up the interval 
before we retire to rest, and my experience may not 
prove altogether useless to one who is about to go the 
same journey which I have finished. 

' These scanty hairs of mine were not always gray, 
nor these limbs decrepid : I was once, like thee, young, 
fresh, and vigorous, full of delightful dreams, and gay 
anticipations. Life seemed a garden of sweets, a path 
of roses ; and I thought I had but to choose in what 
way I would be happy. I will pass over the incidents 
of my boyhood, and come to my maturer years. I had 
scarcely seen twenty summers, when I formed one of 
those extravagant and ardent attachments, of which 
youth is so susceptible. It happened, that, at that 
time, I bore arms under the emperor Theodosius, in 
his expedition against the Goths, who had overrun a 
part of Thrace. In our return from a successful cam- 
paign, we staid some time in the Greek cities, which 
border on the Euxine. In one of these cities I became 
acquainted with a female, whose form was not more 
elegant than her mind was cultivated, and her heart 
-antainted. I had done her family some trivial services, 


and her gratitude spoke too warmly to my intoxicated 
brain to leave any doubt on my mind that she loved 
me. The idea was too exquisitely pleasing to be soon 
dismissed. I sought every occasion of being with her. 
Her mild, persuasive voice seemed like the music of 
heaven to my ears, after the toils and roughness of a 
soldier's life. I had a friend, too, whose converse, 
next to that of the dear object of my secret love, was 
most dear to me. He formed the third in all our meet- 
ings, and beyond the enjoyment of the society of these 
two, I had not a wish. I had never yet spoken ex- 
plicitly to my female friend, but I fondly hoped we un- 
derstood each other. Why should I dwell on the sub- 
ject? I was mistaken. My friend threw himself on 
my mercy. I found that he, not I, was the object of 
her affections. Young man, you may conceive y but 
I cannot describe what I felt, as I joined their hands. 
The stroke was severe, and, for a time, unfitted me for 
the duties of my station. I suffered the army to leave 
the place without accompanying it ; and thus lost the 
rewards of my past services, and forfeited the favour of 
my sovereign. This was another source of anxiety and 
regret to me, as my mind recovered its wonted tone. 
But the mind of youth, however deeply it may feel for 
awhile, eventually rises up from dejection, and regains 
its wonted elasticity. That vigour by which the spirit 
recovers itself from the depths of useless regret, and 
enters upon new prospects with its accustomed ardour, 
is only subdued by time. I now applied myself to the 
study of philosophy, under a Greek master, and all my 
ambition was directed towards letters. But ambition 
is not quite enough to fill a young man's heart. I still 
felt a void there, and sighed as I reflected on the hap- 
piness of my friend. At the time when I visited the 


object of my first love, a young Christian woman, her 
frequent companion, had sometimes taken my atten- 
tion. She was an Ionian by birth, and had all the 
softness and pensive intelligence which her country- 
women are said to possess when unvitiated by the cor- 
ruptions so prevalent in that delightful region. You 
are no stranger to the contempt with which the Greeks 
then treated, and do still, in some places, treat the 
Christians. This young woman bore that contempt 
with a calmness which surprised me. There were then 
but few converts to that religion in those parts, and its 
profession was therefore more exposed to ridicule and 
persecution from its strangeness. Notwithstanding her 
religion, I thought I could love this interesting and 
amiable female ; and, in spite of my former mistake, I 
had the vanity to imagine I was not indifferent to her. 
As our intimacy increased, I learned, to my astonish- 
ment, that she regarded me as one involved in igno- 
rance and error ; and that, although she felt an affec- 
tion for me, yet she would never become my wife, 
while I remained devoted to the religion of my ances- 
tors. Piqued at this discovery, I received the books, 
which she now for the first time put into my hands, 
with pity and contempt. I expected to find them no- 
thing but the repositories of a miserable and deluded 
superstition, more presuming than the mystical leaves 
of the Sibyls, or the obscure triads of Zoroaster. How 
was I mistaken ! There was much which I could not 
at all comprehend ; but, in the midst of this darkness, 
the effect of my ignorance, I discerned a system of 
morality, so exalted, so exquisitely pure, and so far re- 
moved from all I would have conceived of the most 
perfect virtue, that all the philosophy of the Grecian 
world seemed worse than dross in the comparison. 


My former learning had only served to teach me that 
something was wanting to complete the systems of phi- 
losophers. Here that invisible link was supplied, and 
I could even then observe a harmony and consistency 
in the whole which carried irresistible conviction to my 
mind. I will not enlarge on this subject. Christianity 
is not a mere set of opinions to be embraced by the 
understanding. It is the work of the heart as well as 
the head. Let it suffice to say, that, in time, I became 
a Christian, and the husband of Sapphira. 


If there be any duty which our Lord Jesus Christ 
seems to have considered as more indispensably neces- 
sary towards the formation of a true Christian, it is that 
of prayer. He has taken every opportunity of impress- 
ing on our minds the absolute need in which we stand 
of the divine assistance, both to persist in the paths of 
righteousness, and to fly from the allurements of a fas- 
cinating, but dangerous life : and he has directed us 
to the only means of obtaining that assistance, in con- 
stant and habitual appeals to the throne of grace. 
Prayer is certainly the foundation-stone of the super- 
structure of a religious life : for a man can neither ar- 
rive at true piety, nor persevere in its ways when at- 
tained, unless, with sincere and continued fervency,, 
and with the mGst unaffected anxiety, he implore Al- 
mighty God to grant him his perpetual grace, to guard 
and restrain him from all chose derelictions of heart,, 
to which we are, by nature, but too prone. I should 
think it an insult to the understanding of a Christian 
to dwell on the necessity of prayer, and, before we can 


harangue an infidel on its efficacy, we must convince 
him, not only that the Being to whom we address our- 
selves really exists, but that he condescends to hear 
and to answer our humble supplications. As these ob- 
jects are foreign to my present purpose, I shall take 
my leave of the necessity of prayer, as acknowledged 
by all to whom this paper is addressed, and shall be 
content to expatiate on the strong inducements which 
we have to lift up our souls to our Maker in the lan- 
guage of supplication and of praise ; to depict the hap- 
piness which results to the man of true piety from the 
exercise of this duty; and, lastly, to warn mankind, 
lest their fervency should carry them into the extreme 
of fanaticism, and their prayers, instead of being silent 
and unassuming expressions of gratitude to their Maker, 
and humble entreaties for his favouring grace, should 
degenerate into clamorous vociferations and insolent 
gesticulations, utterly repugnant to the true spirit of 
prayer, and to the language of a creature addressing 
his Creator. 

There is such an exalted delight to a regenerate be- 
ing in the act of prayer, and he anticipates with so 
much pleasure, amid the toils of business, and the 
crowds of the world, the moment when he shall be able 
to pour out his soul without interruption into the bosom 
of his Maker, that I am persuaded, that the degree of 
desire or repugnance which a man feels to the perform- 
ance of this amiable duty, is an infallible criterion of 
his acceptance with God. Let the unhappy child of 
dissipation — let the impure voluptuary boast of his short 
hours of exquisite enjoyment ; even in the degree of 
bliss they are infinitely inferior to the delight of which 
the righteous man participates in his private devotions; 
while in their opposite consequences they lead to a no 


less wide extreme than heaven and hell, a state of po- 
sitive happiness, and a state of positive misery. If 
there were no other inducement to prayer, than the very 
gratification it imparts to the soul, it would deserve to 
be regarded as the most important object of a Christian ; 
for no where else could he purchase so much calmness, 
so much resignation, and so much of that peace and 
repose of spirit, in which consists the chief happiness 
of this otherwise dark and stormy being. But to prayer, 
besides the inducement of momentary gratification, the 
very self-love implanted in our bosoms would lead us 
to resort, as the chief good, for our Lord hath said, 'Ask, 
and it shall be given to thee ; knock and it shall be 
opened f and not a supplication made in the true spirit 
of faith and humility, but shall be answered; not a re- 
quest which is urged with unfeigned submission and 
lowliness of spirit, but shall be granted, if it be consist- 
ent with our happiness, either temporal or eternal. Of 
this happiness, however, the Lord God is the only judge ; 
but this we do know, that whether our requests be 
granted, or whether they be refused, all is working to- 
gether for our ultimate benefit. 

When I say, that such our requests and solicitations, 
as are urged in the true spirit of meekness, humility, 
and submission, will indubitably be answered, I would 
wish to draw a line between supplications so urged, 
and those violent and vehement declamations which, 
under the name of prayers, are sometimes heard to pro- 
ceed from the lips of men professing to worship God 
in the spirit of meekness and truth. Surely I need not 
impress on any reasonable mind, how directly contrary 
these inflamed and bombastic harangues are to every 
precept of Christianity, and every idea of the deference 
due from a poor worm, like man, to the omnipotent and 


all-great God. Can we hesitate a moment as to which 
is more acceptable in his sight — the diffident, the fowly, 
the retiring, and yet solemn and impressive form of 
worship of our excellent church ; and the wild and la^ 
boured exclamations, the authoritative and dictatory 
clamours of men, who, forgetting the immense distance 
at which they stand from the awful Being whom they 
address, boldly, and with unblushing front, speak to 
their God as to an equal, and almost dare to prescribe 
to his infinite wisdom the steps it shall pursue? How 
often has the silent, yet eloquent eye of misery, wrung 
from the reluctant hand of charity that relief which has 
been denied to the loud and importunate beggar? And 
is Heaven to be taken by storm ? Are we to wrest the 
Almighty from his purposes by vociferation and im*- 
portunity? God forbid! It is a fair and a reasonable, 
though a melancholy interference, that the Lord shuts 
his ears against prayers like these, and leaves the de- 
luded supplicants to follow the impulse of their own 
headstrong passions, without a guide, and destitute of 
every ray of his pure and holy light. 

Those mock apostles, who thus disgrace the worship 
of the true God by their extravagance, are very fond 
of appearing to imitate the conduct of our Saviour, 
during his mortal peregrination; but how contrary were 
his habits to those of these deluded men! Did he teach 
his disciples to insult the ear of Heaven with noise and 
clamour? Were his precepts those of fanaticism and 
passion ? Did he inflame the minds of his hearers with 
vehement and declamatory harangues? Did he pray 
with all this confidence — this arrogance— this assure 
ance? How different was his conduct! He divested 
wisdom of all its pomp and parade, in order to suit it 
to the capacities of the meanest of its auditors. He 


spake to them in the lowly language of parable and 
similitude ; and when he prayed, did he instruct his 
hearers to attend to him with a loud chorus of Amens? 
Did he (participating as he did in the Godhead), did he 
assume the tone of sufficiency, and the language of 
assurance ? Far from it ! he prayed, and he instructed 
his disciples to pray, in lowliness and meekness of 
spirit ; he instructed them to approach the throne of 
Grace with fear and trembling, silently, and with the 
deepest awe and veneration ; and he evinced by his 
condemnation of the prayer of the self-sufficient Pha- 
risee, opposed to that of the diffident publican, the 
light in which those were considered in the eyes of the 
Lord, who, setting the terrors of his Godhead at de- 
fiance, and boldly building on their own worthiness, 
approached him with confidence and pride. 

* * * * 
There is nothing so indispensably necessary towards 
the establishment of future earthly, as well as heavenly 
happiness, as early impressions of piety. For, as re- 
ligion is the sole source of all human welfare and peace, 
so habits of religious reflection, in the spring of life, 
are the only means of arriving at a due sense of the 
importance of divine concerns in age, except by the 
bitter and hazardous roads of repentance and remorse. 
There is not a more awful spectacle in nature, than 
the death-bed of a late repentance. The groans of 
agony which attend the separation of the soul from the 
body, heightened by the heart-piercing exclamation of 
mental distress : the dreadful ebullitions of horror and 
remorse, intermingled with the half-fearful, but fervent 
deprecations of the divine wrath, and prayers for the 
divine mercy, joined to the pathetic imploring to the 
friends who stand weeping around the bed of the sinner 
2 Q 


to pray for him, and to take warning from his awful 
end, contribute to render this scene such an impressive 
and terrible memento of the state of those who have 
neglected their souls, as must bring to a due sense of 
his duty the most hardened of infidels. 

It is to ensure you, my young friends, as far as pre- 
cept can ensure you, from horrors like these in your 
last moments, that I write this little book, in the hopes 
that, through the blessing of the Divine Being, it may 
be useful in inducing you to reflect on the importance 
of early piety, and lead you into the cheerful perform- 
ance of your duties to God, and to your own souls. 
In the pursuit of this plan, I shall, first, consider the 
bliss which results from a pious disposition, and the 
horrors of a wicked one. Secondly, the necessity of 
an early attention to the concerns of the soul towards 
the establishment of permanent religion, and its con- 
sequent happiness ; and, thirdly, I shall point out and 
contrast the last moments of those who have acted in 
conformity, or in contradiction to the rules here laid 

The contrast between the lives of the good and the 
wicked man affords such convincing arguments in sup- 
port of the excellence of religion, that even those infi- 
dels who have dared to assert their disbelief of the 
doctrine of Revelation, have confessed that in a po- 
litical point of view, if in no other, it ought to be main- 
tained. Compare the peaceful and collected course of 
the virtuous and pious man, with the turbulent irregu- 
larity and violence of him who neglects his soul for the 
allurements of vice, and judge for yourselves of the 
policy of the conduct of each, even in this world. 
Whose pleasures are the most exquisite ? Whose de- 
lights the most lasting? Whose state is the mostenvi- 


able ? His who barters his hopes of eternal welfare for 
a few fleeting moments of brutal gratification ; or his 
who, while he keeps a future state alone in his view, 
finds happiness in the conscientious performance of his 
duties, and the scrupulous fulfilment of the end of his 
sojourn here? Believe me, my friends, there is no com- 
parison between them. The joys of the infatuated 
mortal who sacrifices his soul to his sensualities, are 
mixed with bitterness and anguish. The voice of con- 
science rises distinctly to his ear, amid the shouts of 
intemperance and the sallies of obstreperous mirth. 
In the hour of rejoicing, she whispers her appalling 
monitions to him, and his heart sinks within him, and 
the smile of triumphant villany is converted into the 
ghastly grin of horror and hopelessness. But, oh! 
in the languid intervals of dissipation ; in the dead 
hour of the night, when all is solitude and silence, 
when the soul is driven to commune with itself, and the 
voice of remorse, whose whispers were before half- 
drowned in the noise of riot, rises dreadfully distinct 
—what! — what are his emotions! — Who can paint 
his agonies, his execrations, his despair ! Let that man 
lose again, in the vortex of fashion, and folly, and vice, 
the remembrance of his horroru let him smile, let 
him laugh and be merry; believe me, my dear readers, 
he is not happy, he is not careless, he is not the jovial 
being he appears to be. His heart is heavy within 
him ; he cannot stifle the reflections which assail him 
in the very moment of enjoyment ; but strip the painted 
veil from his bosom, lay aside the trappings of folly, 
and that man is miserable, and not only so, but he has 
purchased that misery at the expense of eternal torment. 
Let us oppose to this awful picture the life of the 
good man; of him who rises in the morning with 


cheerfulness to praise his Creator for all the good h£ 
hath bestowed upon him, and to perform with studious 
exactness the duties of his station; and lays himself 
down on his pillow in the evening in the sweet con* 
sciousness of the applause of his own heart. Place 
this man on the stormy seas of misfortune and sorrow 
—press him with afflictive dispensations of Providence 
— snatch from his arms the object of his affections — 
separate him for ever from all he loved and held dear 
on earth, and leave him isolated and an outcast in the 
world, — he is calm — he is composed — he is grateful — 
he weeps, for human nature is weak, but he still pre- 
serves his composure and resignation — he still looks 
up to the giver of all good with thankfulness and praise, 
and perseveres with calmness and fortitude in the 
paths of righteousness. His disappointments cannot 
overwhelm him, for his chief hopes are placed far, 
very far beyond the reach of human vicissitude. 'He 
hath chosen that good part, which none can take away 
from him/ 

Here, then, lies the great excellence of religion and 
piety ; they not only lead to eternal happiness, but to 
the happiness of this world ; they not only ensure ever- 
lasting bliss, but the^are the sole means of arriving at 
that degree of felicity which this dark and stormy being 
is capable of, and are the sole supports in the hour of 
adversity and affliction. How infatuated then must 
that man be, who can wilfully shut his eyes to his own 
welfare, and deviate from the paths of righteousness 
which lead to bliss ! Even allowing him to entertain 
the erroneous notion that religion does not lead to hap- 
piness in this life, his conduct is incompatible with every 
idea of a reasonable being. In the Spectator we find 
the following image employed to induce a conviction of 

Henry kirke white; 461 

the magnitude of this truth : Supposing the whole body 
of the earth were a great ball, or mass of the finest sand, 
and that a single grain, or particle of this sand, should 
be annihilated every thousand years ; supposing, then, 
that you had it in your choice to be happy all the while 
this prodigious mass was consuming, by this slow me- 
thod, till there was not a grain of it left, on condition 
that you were to be miserable ever after ; or supposing 
that you might be happy for ever after, on condition 
you would be miserable till the whole mass of sand 
were thus annihilated, at the rate of one sand a thou- 
sand years ; which of these two cases would you make 
your choice? 

It must be confessed that in this case so many * * * 

* *• * * 

The life of man is transient and unstable ; its fairest 
passages are but a lighter shade of evil, and yet those 
passages form but a disproportionate part of the picture. 
We all seek Happiness, though with different degrees 
of avidity, while the fickle object of our pursuits con- 
tinually evades the grasp of those who are the most 
eager in the chase ; and, perhaps at last throws herself 
into the arms of those who had entirely lost all sight 
of her, and who, when they are most blessed with her 
enjoyment, are least conscious that they possess her. 
Were the objects in which we placed the consummation 
of our wishes always virtuous, and the means employed 
to arrive at the bourn of our desires uniformly good, 
there can be little doubt that the aggregate of mankind 
would be as happy as is consistent with the state in 
which they live : but, unfortunately, vicious men pursue 
vicious ends by vicious means, and, by so doing, not 
only ensure their own misery, but they overturn and 
destroy the fair designs of the wiser and the better of 


their kind. Thus he who has no idea of a bliss beyond 
the gratification of his brutal appetites, involves in the 
crime of seduction, the peace and the repose of a good 
and happy family, and an individual act of evil extends 
itself by a continued impulse over a large portion of 
society. It is thus that men of bad minds become the 
pests of the societies of which they happen to be mem- 
bers. It is thus that the virtuous among men pay the 
bitter penalty of the crimes and follies of their unwor- 
thy fellows. 

Men who have passed their whole lives in the lap of 
luxury and enjoyment, have no idea of misery beyond 
that of which they happen to be the individual objects. 


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